Saturday, February 1, 2014

When Tragedy hits close to home

Dear Friends, 

Suicide is something that I hear a lot about, read a lot about, and as a health care professional, know a lot about... or so I thought.

CDC Suicide Statistics

But when it actually happens to someone you know and care for, it all seems surreal and truly just breaks your heart. Not only for the victim but to the family as well.

Yes, I took a break because this tragedy that has befallen one of my best friends family hit us so close, that as friends and parents ourselves, we were just so shaken and heartbroken...

I never thought this could happen to anyone we know, let alone, anyone we love, but it did.
It could happen to anyone.

All I could do was Hug my friend and hold her hand...

.. there wasn't anything I could say or do to make her feel better.
All I know is that I wish I could take some of her pain away... just some... but I knew I couldn't.

I felt helpless for my friend.

All we could do was listen, show our support and just be there.

On our second night of mourning, I shared this prayer I saw on the 
Huffington Post by Rabbi Joseph Meszler to our Catholic Priest friend, 
who eventually shared it with all of us...

Let there be no whispering, no secrets here:

Our hearts are broken.

_____ took his own life.

And even though it might appear 
that he died by his own hand,
no one does this without great, coercing pain,
inner suffering that seems to have no end,
even though we wish 
he knew that no agony is forever.

Source of compassion, help us to cry out loud,

to hold each other gently,

to live with unanswerable questions,

normal feelings of anger and guilt,
and this gaping hole of loss.
Help us to reach out to others who are suffering,
to show them our love, to say the kind word,
and that this is not a choice we condone
or is worth imitation.
It is hard to see the divine image in the lives of those who suffer.

The sun sets and rises.

We put one foot in front of the other.

We hold our hearts in our hands.

We lift them up to You, God of eternal peace,
and to each other.
Help us live each day.


I hope and pray that none of you ever need this prayer.

But I do hope that with this very sad and tragic incident, we will try to be more open and aware about the signs of suicide, depression and other  possible mental illness, and that we may prevent this from happening to someone we know or love - all it may take is a word or two or even a hug.


Lastly, THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR ALL YOUR KIND WORDS to me and my friend when I posted about this BREAK. I will show this to my friend too someday and hope it adds on to some comfort.



  1. I will be praying for healing for all Vel. Beautiful prayer... Hugs to you too my friend.

  2. Oh how tragic and so painful. My heart aches for you and your friend. God Bless. Hugs, Marty

  3. Oh Vel, that is truly heart breaking. As a school counselor, It is always a concern for me. I always take any type of warnings from friends or students seriously, because you just never know. and Yes, it did happen in a school I worked in once. A middle school aged girl. So sad and so tragic, and something no parent should ever have to face. I can only imagine the pain of unanswered questions. And you are right, there truly are no words. But your friend knows that you are there for her. And that is really all she needs to know. You presence speaks more than any words you could ever say. Sending much love and also prayers your way my friend.

  4. Yes, very tragic and painful, nothing worse for a family to endure. This reminded me of my Husband's very close cousin who's pretty and young daughter took her life at 24. It was 13 years ago, but her mother and father never forget her and the tragedy. Prayers will go to you and your friends dear Vel.

  5. Oh Vel, I am so sorry to read this. I couldn't imagine what pain your friend and her family are going through.
    Take care, Shelley

  6. I'm so sorry, Vel. Please know I will continue to pray for all of you. Sending lots of hugs...

  7. I missed your Jan. 23rd post.
    I am so sad when I hear this news. I have to tell you my oldest granddaughter has mental health issues and is now in counsling and medication. She will be 17 in April. Thank God my daughter took action. I don't want to go into detail..... but my heart goes out to your friend. ((((Hugs))))

  8. You and your very dear friend and her entire family are in my prayers.

  9. Oh Vel, it's so sad. My heart goes to you and your friend's family.

  10. I am so sorry for your friends loss. I am sure that your community is just heartbroken. I will hold all of you in my prayers at mass tomorrow.

  11. I'm sorry for your loss and pain. I had this happen in my neighborhood, to my neighbor this last November. He was fun, always smiling, a great dad, and always so helpful. I don't know why he did it, and never will. It is a huge loss for his family and I feel shocked. Thank you for your honesty as it effects so many. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your friend.

  12. Vel, I am so, so very sorry to hear this news. My heart aches for your friend, as a mom I cannot even begin to imagine what she is dealing with. My thoughts and prayers go out to her, her family and you as a supporter.

  13. Signs are very difficult to see, especially for family. Your friend shouldn't feel any guilt. I know it's easier to say than to achieve. I lost a former pupil last year and can't help thinking things could have been different. I'll think of you and her in the coming days, hoping she'll have the strenght to put one foot in front of the other.

  14. Dear Vel - I read this post while we were in Maine, and I'm very, very sorry. I can't find the right words but know that I'll keep you all in my thoughts and prayers. Take care!

  15. I am so sorry for your friend's tragic loss and for all who are touched by it. It is a horrible thing. That is a lovely prayer and one to bookmark. Hug her for us and bless her family and friends. xo Nancy

  16. So sorry to hear that Vel. You all are in my thoughts during this difficult time.

  17. I am so sad to hear this, Vel. We have also experienced this tragedy. A couple of years ago, a very dear friend & wife to my husband's best friend since grade school, became extremely depressed. She was seeing a psychiatrist and he didn't even catch on just how bad she was. Her husband found her and later discovered that she had found out online how to do this. It was such a horrible shock. We still shake our heads in wonder. I'm so glad you were there for your friend. That's all we can do.

  18. Oh gosh, Vel--I am SO sorry to hear this. I, too, have WAY too much experience with this awful epidemic in both my professional (clinical MSW) and personal life. It is a particularly painful way to lose someone and then a particularly complicated way to grieve someone...ugh. Thank you for sharing information--information is absolutely key here. Thinking of you and your friend and praying for coping for all of you in this dark time... Xoxo.

  19. Vel, I'm so sorry, what a tragedy for this family. I'm sure you being there for them means so much. You're in my thoughts and prayers dear friend,

  20. Oh Vel. I am so sorry to hear that news. Keeping your friend, her family and you in my prayers and thoughts.

  21. Oh Vel, after just catching up since clicking over from Pink Pagoda, I just saw this. I am so sorry for your pain and the pain and incredible loss for your dear friend. Such an incredible loss and my prayers go out to all those hurt by such a tragedy. <3

  22. I'm so sorry to hear this news of the heart wrenching loss that your friend has experienced. I cannot even image the pain. Praying for strength for you as her supporter and for her family and community as a whole.


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