With the news of Robin Williams's passing on August 11, it seemed all of America was simultaneously heartbroken and what I refer to as: heart-awoken. There are few circumstances more difficult to deal with than a loved one's suicide. A suicide always creates more questions than answers, even when a note is left.
While Robin's passing is an absolute tragedy, it is also an opportunity to create open conversation. Talking about suicide is still, too often, taboo. Many people try to cover it up, or paint a different picture and pray no one will learn the secret of how their loved one passed.
It's an awful state of affairs. Not only do survivors have to deal with a monumental loss, they are also left to sift through inevitable guilt that they missed clues, or could have prevented the passing. Worse, all of that grief and guilt is covered with huge amounts of shame.
It's time to change. It's REALLY time to change.
Many years ago I became involved with a group called The Alliance of Hope for Suicide Survivors. What struck me was that it isn't a suicide prevention group, but an online support group for the survivors. In a conversation with the founder, Ronnie Susan Walker, she said something to me that I will never forget.
"Preventing suicide is much more challenging than most people realize. Suicide is not a disease like measles or polio. There is no one simple solution. There are many different kinds of people, dealing with many different kinds of circumstances, who end their lives."
As a medium, this really struck a chord with me. When I am conducting a session with a person who is bereaved by suicide, we often delve into what led the person to end his or her life. The action to end one's own life is absolutely the hardest anyone could ever take. Often it stems from a lack of hope that a life circumstance could change. We can rationally sit here and say, "But, there is always hope!" However, not everyone can see that light, and not everyone can feel that connection to a better day.
I have found time and time again that a person with suicidal thoughts can have a drink or even a small amount of a substance in their body and the actions they take are much different than if they had been clear-headed. Many people whose lives end by their own hand didn't expect that they would actually die. This is where lines blur and things get really tricky. A person can pass from an overdose, the world labels it a suicide, and yet, that person may have never intended to end his or her life.
What I want everyone to know is that someone who ends his or her life is not necessarily:
- mentally ill
- suffering from acute depression
- trying to hurt anyone
- by any means, a bad person
- an out-of-control teenager
We really need to stop labeling and stuffing situations into boxes shaped by society, that do not fit the situation.
How can we overcome this? By remembering that a person who is bereaved by suicide needs the extra support of family and friends. They need understanding; first and foremost, they are suffering the loss of a dear loved one. It doesn't matter how their loved one passed; what matters is how they lived. A suicide survivor needs constant reassurance that their loved one is cherished, valued and held in high esteem.
The guilt and shame have got to go. And we can begin eradicating them by opening up the conversation about suicide. It isn't always easy. In fact, as far as our human interpretation of the Spirit world goes, it doesn't get much more complicated. People get pretty set in their beliefs. Someone sent me a note last year letting me know that, "The Pope did away with limbo." I think this was supposed to be great news for the millions of Souls who may have been sent there as a "punishment" for ending their lives. As I read it, all I could think was that it's almost as ridiculous to assume limbo exists as it is to think someone could simply do away with it.
Here is what I can share based on my experiences in connecting with hundreds who have ended their lives.
They are greeted and welcomed into the afterlife by people who love them and are given the opportunity to heal. They are released from the heavy burdens of illness and given the unconditional love and acceptance they need. Those who have ended their life are given the same acceptance, healing and opportunity to continue to work on their spiritual progress that every other soul is given. Those who end their lives cross over, just as other souls do; there is no middle ground where they get stuck. The communication works exactly the same way as it would if the person had passed from old age in their sleep.
In my work, I have never encountered a case different from this experience. Absolutely everyone I have connected with fits this description.
What does all this mean?
It's time to let go. To let go of the labels. The judgment. The shame. The guilt.
There is hope for healing, especially for the survivors. Please visit the forums of the Alliance of Hope to find support and solidarity in those who have walked the path.
Whether you are bereaved by suicide or not, this is a great time to do some self-work on the shame, guilt and vulnerability issues most of us have in the Western World. One of my favorite authors is Brene Brown, and her newest book, "Daring Greatly" can help anyone live a life that is more authentic and enable us to connect on a deeper level by addressing shame issues. I highly suggest reading her book, taking a look at her website, and her TED talks:
I hope you'll join me for an evening of Spirit communication and messages.
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©Mollie Morning Star 2015 Short excerpts of this article may be shared on the internet provided a live link back to this original source is used. Reproduction in print is prohibited.