Rippling Effects of Suicide

[Written Saturday morning]

Richard and I went to a garage sale at our neighbor’s house this morning; I was excited to get out of the house and go to a sale or two.  To my surprise I found some really neat horse t-shirts and jackets.  The jackets had beautiful horses and my name embroidered on them, I was so very happy!

It’s not very often I find horse stuff at garage sales, but with my name too, that’s a first!  There is no way in the world I’d ever be able to afford things like these retail.  Our neighbor and their friend were hosting this sale…the friend was the one who showed me a new jacket and told me how much his wife had spent for the embroidery.  Holy cow!

I bought a few really lovely items and the man threw in the coat he’d pointed out to me, wow!  When we put our treasures in the back of the car Richard mentioned he didn’t know our neighbor’s friend’s wife and I shared the same first name.  I could tell by his tone of voice I should have memory of this man and his wife…we got in the car and it dawned on me, I slowly asked Richard if his wife had been the one who committed suicide, he said yes.

I don’t know where all the oxygen went in that moment, I could not breathe.  My joy had turned to a still, silent sadness.  I did not even know this woman, when I heard about her suicide last year at Christmas I felt the same thing.  Oh yes, the rippling effects of a suicide on its community, it simply does not begin and end with the person(s) who killed themselves.  This man and our neighbor had the difficult task of going through all of her belongings, pricing them, reliving the tragedy.

Not too long ago a woman from our Brain Injury Support Group back home committed suicide, yes, we have the same name…

Should any of us doubt the importance of carrying the light forward, this is a good reminder.  I don’t want my name to be associated with a pain that oftentimes cannot be healed and this took me back to last month’s post on suicide.

As I finished writing this post, I went on Facebook and this was posted…I am in awe of the timing, this was posted by Grieving Mothers at

“A few years ago, when a young man died by his own hand, a service for him was conducted by his pastor, the Reverend West Stephens. What he said that day expresses far more eloquently than I can, the message that I’m trying to convey.  Here are some of his words:

‘Our friend died on his own battlefield. He was killed in action fighting a civil war.
He fought against adversaries that were as real to him as his casket is real to us.
They were powerful adversaries.
They took toll of his energies and endurance.
They exhausted the last vestiges of his courage and his strength.
At last these adversaries overwhelmed him.
And it appeared that he had lost the war.
But did he? I see a host of victories that he has won!

For one thing – he has won our admiration – because even if he lost the war, we give him credit for his bravery on the battlefield. And we give him credit for the courage and pride and hope that he used as his weapons as long as he could.

We shall remember not his death, but his daily victories gained through his kindnesses and thoughtfulness, through his love for his family and friends…for all things beautiful, lovely, and honorable.

We shall remember not his last day of defeat, but we shall remember the many days that he was victorious over overwhelming odds. We shall remember not the years we thought he had left, but the intensity with which he lived the years that he had.

Only God knows what this child of His suffered in the silent skirmishes that took place in his soul. But our consolation is that God does know, and understands.’”


It is Tuesday, July 10th, I am wearing one of my namesake’s t-shirts.  Her light is gone from this earth but mine remains, in honor of her and all others, because no one is insignificant.

About Resilient Heart

TBI x3, that's me! If you had a Traumatic Brain Injury (or Injuries!) and knew you might not remember dates, events, people, etc., would you live each day differently? Would you give more, forgive more, heal more? I am. The statistics for me developing Dementia or Alzheimer's is a high possibility - one, because of the TBIs, and two - because I'm genetically predisposed. Come with me as this present moment is all we know we have... Wishing you all the best - today & always. Blessings, Love & Peace, RH
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17 Responses to Rippling Effects of Suicide

  1. a sobering and amazing tribute and her things can remind you of the will to live in dark days!

  2. What a beautiful post,truly. you honor her journey in this way? Blessings.

    • Thanks so much, it’s a tough thing to talk about and probably equally as tough for all of us left behind to deal with. I can only hope to take her light into the future so her life was not in vain. Blessings, Love & Peace to you. 🙂

  3. Wow! I appreciate the courage it took to write this. Just a month ago a member of my family attempted suicide and I’ve been crawling out of that emotional abyss ever since. My creativity has been affected too and I have produced virtually norhing as I deal with the aftermath. Fortunately my loved one did not succeed in his quest and is recovering, but it’s a ordeal I’m still working to resolve inside of me. Thank you for sharing your thoughts abd feelings on this. They help me to understand my own. … Be well … D

    • Dorothy, I’m so sorry to hear a family member has attempted suicide, this is such a tough, tough road for everyone. I am grateful he did not succeed and dearly hope he finds the help and support he needs. There was a neat graphic on Facebook that said, “People who die by suicide don’t want to end their lives, they want to end their pain.”

      I know you’ll find your feet, giving yourself the time and self-care you need. You’re so good at that. 🙂 Please know you’re not alone.

      PBS’s brilliant documentary “Depression: Out of the Shadows” changed my life. It changed how I view my own depression and that of others. It’s free to watch on PBS’ site if you’re interested:

      Thank you for taking the time to read and share. You and your family are in my heart and prayers. Thank you for being a part of this dialogue. We all have resilient hearts, even in the darkest of times…

      • Thanks so much. I will check out that documentary … I have just returned from visiting my loved one and he is on the mend .. and so am I. I know in my heart, and he has said as much, that his action had everything to do with him feeling unable to take the pain anymore and thinking that ending it all was the only way he could make it go away. He is getting help now, and a cute new puppy that he was given a couple of weeks ago is making a great difference. At least with this he is no longer dwelling on what hurts and enjoys some of that unconditional love for which we all love we all yearn. … As for me, I’m starting to feel like I can more forward again, and all I can say to that is “Hallelujah!” … Thanks again and be well, Dorothy 🙂

      • Watched the doc. Thanks for that. Very enlightening and helps to clear the road ahead … Be well, D 🙂

  4. thanks for all of this and especially the pastor’s words. what a wonderful insight into this tragedy. be well.

    • You’re so very welcome, this is such a dark topic it’s hard to write about without it extracting something in the process. It is worth it if it helps just one person. I agree, I thought the pastor’s words were tremendously insightful and healing. Thank you kindly for your comment.

  5. carolisle says:

    Dear one you are keeping his light alive by remembering.

  6. Lydia H says:

    A member of my unit committed suicide last year. It is heartwrenching. Wear the shirts to remember life; all the joys admist the sorrows, the beauty of a rainbow or a sunset, friendships, love. Life can batter at us. But, life is also good.

    • I am so sorry to hear this, Lydia, it is heartwrenching, that is such a good description.

      Yes, I think of her and my TBI namesake (I did not get to meet) who committed suicide. I know there were beautiful times in their lives, as babies learning their world, growing into children wild with curiosity and joy, and into all the firsts of life in adolescence and adulthood.

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