Putting my life back together after my best friend’s suicide

Hannah Flanery and Emily Barnhardt

by Emily Barnhardt

If had to choose a phrase that encapsulates my story and the pain and suffering I’ve experienced, it would be: “collateral beauty.”

Several years ago, I lost my best friend and roommate to suicide. It turned my world upside down.

There are no words to explain the devastating grief that washes over you after a complex loss like suicide; it’s as unpredictable and as relentless as waves crashing over the seashore. I wrestled with the never-ending questions and the monstrous-of-all questions, “why?” my best friend killed herself. Time and time again, … Read more...

Dreamcatcher heart – #griefheart number 134

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“My brother Jefferson Joseph Blanton-Harris (“Joey”) was 25 years old when he died by suicide on 5/20/13. He is my little “bwudder,” and always will be. I chose the blue color buttons in this photo because he has the most beautiful, striking blue eyes.

He has 7 older sisters, all with brown eyes, so his eyes really stand out. I chose the dream-catcher because I have several times seen him in my dreams. I use the present tense when speaking of him, for I believe in his true presence in my dream-state, not “just dreams.” I believe he lives forever, … Read more...