By Maja Futrell-Frühling
Facilitator, Suicide Bereavement Group
I became an active advocate and researcher of suicide loss after the passing of my Dad who suicided in 2008.
It became clear to me that there was a gap in what we as a society will speak about when it came to death and suicide. ‘Committed suicide’ continues to be the normal phrase when referring to suicide, which is outdated language by almost 50 years.
Nine years after my father’s passing I finally worked up the courage to attend a suicide prevention training through the Crisis Centre. I had been working with the Centre as a group facilitator for their suicide bereavement groups.
Something changed forever for me in that training: I went from a place of feeling helpless to having a sense of confidence in the face of what had felt like my worst nightmare.
I am of a demographic that is 3 times more likely to die by suicide because the pain of going through suicide loss is so extreme.
The ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) training supported me on every level in my professional career as a counsellor and in my emotional world as a bereaved by the way with which they humanize the struggle of suicide ideation and transform it into something that can be held and opened to is beautiful.
Our pain is as connective as our joy, that pain that can crush us is also what can set us free, if all you are able to do is smile in any given moment and let someone see you for who you are, then that is an act of kindness and a showing of the heart of who you truly are.
Suicide Loss Support Group
The Crisis Centre, along with BC Bereavement Helpline, are hosting a grief support group for those who have been bereaved by suicide. Being with others who have experienced a similar loss has proven to break isolation and create long-term networks of support.
More information about this group can be found online.