Sunday, October 26, 2014

Tribute to Robin Williams

I know this is considered old news, but to Robin William’s family, it’s probably still as fresh now as the day it happened. I wish them peace and comfort as they cope with his loss.

Robin Williams is one of my favorite actors. As a child, I watched Mrs. Doubtfire all the time. I still watch it when I need a good laugh. And no one could have brought Genie to life in Aladdin like he did. I hope his work will continue to be enjoyed by future generations. He left behind a legacy of laughter, and I look forward to when I can watch Aladdin and Mrs. Doubtfire with my daughter.

I hope his death can also shed some light on suicide and remove the stigma. It shows that anyone can be affected by depression and mental illness, and that it is not a sign of weakness. Even the best of us can fall prey to faulty reasoning and poor decision making, and we need be there to help and support one another.

Farewell, Robin Williams. We all miss you terribly! I hope that you are finally at peace.


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Advice From an Advice Columnist

I saw this posted in an online newspaper and thought I would share it. I am a big fan of Carolyn Hax, and this is the first time I’ve seen her answer a question related to a suicide survivor. The question is from the girlfriend of a suicide survivor asking how she can support her boyfriend. She feels he is using his father’s suicide as an excuse for poor decision making and being lazy.

I like Carolyn’s answer about survivors needing to form themselves into something new since they will never be the same again. I also like that Carolyn doesn’t dismiss the boyfriend’s grief just because the suicide happened years ago. It’s easy to think that people use tragic events in their life as excuses for everything else that’s gone wrong. I’m sure some do, but we also have to remember that there could be truth to it.

What do you think of Carolyn’s advice? Do you relate to the girlfriend or her boyfriend?


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Hitting the Reset Button on Grief

It’s fall again. Every year the weather cools down, the leaves turn colors, and I notice I’m walking on a bed of soggy brown leaves instead of gravel on my way to the lake. The Halloween decorations pop up in stores and on the neighborhood houses. The days get darker earlier, the sunny days fewer, and then one day it starts raining and doesn’t stop until July.

I love Halloween. I love the colorful foliage, and I love the smell and feel of the air after the rain has washed out the stagnant summer heat. But I also remember enjoying these fall days when I heard my dad committed suicide. So with every fall I get a dash of depression, some years worse than others. It could also be seasonal affective disorder, the sadness that summer is ending, or that I also lost two pregnancies in October. Whatever the reasons, fall is a dismal time of year. Yes, I love Halloween and Christmas even more, but then there’s the gloomy months of January and February to suffer through, and then the tease of March and April as the weather can’t decide if it’s going to warm up or stay grey and dreary forever. It’s like the weather is a physical manifestation of my emotional turmoil.

Maybe this is why I decided to revive this blog. As much as I try to “move on” from my dad’s suicide, I can’t let go of it. Every October is like hitting the reset button on my grief. Every year it’s easier, but every year it’s still there, and I have no reason to believe that it will ever completely go away. I’m not even sure I want it to. When the grief goes away, so does the memory of my dad.

When I started this blog, I'm not sure I knew its purpose. I think I used it as a place to post my fears and thoughts without any sort of organization or goal. That was fine and somewhat cathartic, but now I have a better idea of its intent. This year, I decided to handle my grief differently. I look back over the five years and see all the heartache and missed opportunities, but there is also a lot of amazing and joyful things that took place. It’s all about perspective. When you look back on your life, what do you see? Do you see all the bad things or do you see all the good? You will see whatever you are looking for, so where do you choose to dwell? I’m going to stop dwelling on the awfulness of my dad’s stroke and suicide, and start focusing on what I can do to keep his happy memories alive.

This blog is now about honoring those we have lost in the past by keeping the joy they brought to us alive in the present. By making this choice, I hope to turn October into a celebration of his life instead of a celebration of Prozac.


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Coming Soon...

Please forgive my long absence. I was two months pregnant at my last post, and I wanted to focus on my baby. I now have a beautiful 8 month old daughter, and I am ready to get back to writing.

I plan to revive this blog over the next few months. Keep checking back for more entries and a new look. Meanwhile, you can email me if you have any topics you’d like to discuss.

Thank you for your loyalty.