The ‘why’ behind suicide

The question that stalks those of us who’ve lost a loved one to suicide is, “Why did he kill himself?”

After they die, we go through their rooms, computers, social media messages, phones looking for answers looking for why our loved one took their life. We talk to their friends who are often equally as stunned. Our investigations turn up more questions. More anguish and helplessness.

There’s often anger at the deceased for killing themselves. How could they do that? Didn’t they know how much it would hurt those of us left behind?

Some of us find art, writing, journals, …

Purdue Pharm Victims, we need you

by Jill Cichowicz

The opioid crisis in this country is alarming. Every single day I read about another person dying from an overdose.

I used to believe drug overdoses happened to “those people” and definitely not anyone in my family. We grew up in a strict Catholic household, attending mass weekly and had dinner together every night as a family. My parents were tough, but loving and I remember my childhood as a happy one filled with long days playing outside with my twin brother, Scott.

And then life changed

Those happy days turned dark quickly when I lost my … Read more...

ASIST training with a great group

This was my second time at ASIST,  Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training. I needed to take this again as part of my certification for being a registered safeTALK trainer.

This group of trainees was so engaged and while many of them knew each other, they made me feel like family. People weren’t constantly on their phones and they all wanted to get it right and do the best job they could. They wanted to be there and be part of a suicide safe community.

There was lots participation and even laughter. Because when you are immersed in a … Read more...

The terror car ride

I passed by a restaurant called Croaker’s Spot today and it triggered a Charles memory I had forgotten.

My husband and I were dining at this popular Southern eatery when we got a call from Charles.

He was lost. That was not a shock. Charles had a lousy sense of direction and he couldn’t find his way out of a cardboard box with a GPS. The trouble was, he could not tell us exactly where he was and he texted us the wrong address and we ended up in a parking lot searching for him. We called and called. No … Read more...

Workplace Suicide Postvention #ElevateTheConvo

Best Practices and Lived Expertise on How to Respond When a Suicide Death Impacts Work

Postvention is psychological first aid, crisis intervention, and other support offered after a suicide to affected individuals or the workplace as a whole to alleviate possible negative effects of the event.  A suicide death of an employee is only one type of suicide that could affect the workplace. The suicide death of clients, vendors, or a family member of an employee can also have a profound impact.

The goal is to prevent additional suicides, meet the needs of different employees to the best of one’s … Read more...

Helping Teenagers with the Death Of A Sibling-Children’s Grief Awareness Month

by Molly Senecal

children's grief awareness month

It’s November already. Almost one year since my youngest daughter died by suicide during her first semester away at college. Even as I write those words, I have to pause and let them wash over me as though they are new words, as if this is a new grief.

I don’t think these words will ever settle down like old words. Not only does November hold the day of Eve’s death, but it is also Children’s Grief Awareness Month. A time when we, the grown-ups, are asked to pause, and to turn to the children, who … Read more...

Virginia this Morning Video Plus More

What a day. It started off at WTVR channel 6 with an interview about the book, followed by a Philanthropy award luncheon, followed by a zoom call with Molly in Sacramento CA for a future speaking engagement, followed by book signing at Barnes & Noble (thank all for coming out) and ended the night with my best friend Martha, her husband and mine at “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me,” radio show on NPR. I’m too tired to eat.

Video link

diary of a broken mind
Love this shot of the book from WTVR. You can see Charles peeking out at the top on the bookmark

Will my son go to hell because he killed himself?

Hell no.

Whether it’s a son, daughter, sister, brother, mother, father, girlfriend, boyfriend, husband or wife, God isn’t out there to punish you or your loved one for a cause of death even if it’s a suicide.

That goes for those of you who suffer from thoughts of suicide, too. Sometimes “praying on it” isn’t enough and you need help and compassion. I hope you don’t deny yourself the help you need because a group has shamed you out of it.

Someone with a heart condition isn’t told to “pray on it.”

Parishioners and congregations do shun families who’ve lost … Read more...

Looking for grief quotes and tips

grief quotes
What inspires/inspired you in grief?

Can you help? If you have suffered a loss or loss of a child to any cause of death, I’m looking for quotes and tips that helped you through the grief process. I’m working on something I will share with you later but I think you will like it.

So please use the comment section below to tell me what inspired you in that journey.


For teachers who teach mental health and suicide prevention

Here in Virginia, teachers have been tasked with teaching suicide prevention, yet most of them have received no training nor have they received any recommendations as to what to present to students. This article focuses more on suicide prevention and than mental health teaching modules.

Some of our schools are doing SOS, Signs of Suicide. This is being taught in schools all over the US, including schools in Chesterfield County. While this is not a neat package of, “here’s the presentation you can use for your class,” but a web page that will get updated as we evolve in … Read more...