Beyond Surviving

It has been 3 years now. At times I have wondered how much pain can one bear? But just as this picture with the sun coming up over gentle waves...there will be a time for you and the waves will not be constantly stormy seas of emotion. You are not crazy if one catches you by surprise when you are least expecting it, lift your head above the wave, catch your breath and reach out and let someone take your hand...

The song is by the GooGoo Dolls... Let Love In... I hope you will let love in...

I have spent many hours researching looking for answers or just some kind of understanding of what I am feeling, help, comfort, anything that might give me hope...There no easy answers, no magic wand to make it all better or go away.  However, I found this helpful for some of those moments when I/we are really struggling.  I thought I would share it here as a resource.

Beyond Surviving: Suggestions for Survivors

 by: Iris M. Bolton






1. Know you can survive; you may not think so, but you can.

2. Struggle with “why” it happened until you no longer need to know “why” or until YOU are satisfied with partial answers.


3. Know you may feel overwhelmed by the intensity of your feelings but that all your feelings are normal.

4. Anger, guilt, confusion, forgetfulness are common responses. You are not crazy, you are in mourning.

5. Be aware you may feel appropriate anger at the person, at the world, at God, at yourself. It’s okay to express it.

6. You may feel guilty for what you think you did or did not do. Guilt can turn into regret, through forgiveness.



7. Having suicidal thoughts is common. It does not mean that you will act on those thoughts.  Call for help and talk to someone if you need to.

8. Remember to take one moment or one day at a time.

9. Find a good listener with whom to share. Call someone if you need to talk.

10. Don’t be afraid to cry. Tears are healing.

11. Give yourself time to heal.

12. Remember, the choice was not yours. No one is the sole influence on another’s life.

13. Expect setbacks. If emotions return like a tidal wave, you may only be experiencing a remnant of grief, an unfinished piece. They will come and go, sometimes more gently but you can learn to live with them and accept those moments in your life ...

14. Try to put off major decisions for a season.

15. Give yourself permission to get professional help.

16. Be aware of the pain in your family and friends.

17. Be patient with yourself and others who may not understand.

18. Set your own limits and learn to say no.

19. Steer clear of people who want to tell you what or how to feel.

20. Know that there are support groups that can be helpful, such as Compassionate Friends or Survivors of Suicide groups. If not, ask a professional to start one.

21. Call on your personal faith to help you through.

22. It is common to experience physical reaction to your grief, e.g. headaches, loss of appetite, inability to sleep.

23. The willingness to laugh with other and at yourself is healing.

24. Wear out your questions, anger, guilt, or other feelings until you can let them go. Letting go doesn’t mean forgetting.

25. Know that you will never be the same again, but you can survive and even go beyond just surviving.






from Suicide and its Aftermath (Dunne, McIntosh, Dunne-Maxim, Norton et al., 1987).







 Let Love In

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