Our Members Speak:
“FSOS is a safe place for survivors to tell our stories. It is a place where we feel lovingly listened to, not observed, corrected or judged.”
“The death of a loved one by suicide brings a particular kind of pain, and only those who have experienced that pain can understand it. By discussing our feelings with fellow survivors openly, honestly and non-judgmentally, we realize that we are not alone in our suffering, that we share a common burden, and this in itself is an outgoing source of comfort.”
“One of the goals of our group is to help restore members’ self-esteem. By contributing to and participating in the group, each of us has the chance to start achieving again, to gain recognition for that achievement, and to begin to regain control over our lives.”
“There is a sense of security in the group. The quiet comfort of the room together with the understanding and empathy of the members gives us a feeling both of being enclosed serenely in a cocoon and of being liberated.”
“We are able to talk about anything, knowing whatever we say will be held within the boundaries of the room in which we meet. It is a relief to be able to express ourselves freely, and it is reassuring to know that confidentiality is considered of prime importance.”
“I begin to feel better on the morning of the day that I know I’ll be attending a meeting.”
“I’ve learned that blame is a waste of time. What matters is what you do with yourself and your life afterwards.”
“The key is to go beyond the ‘why’ and simply to be there for others. FSOS has helped me bring a new meaning to something senseless.”
“As you keep bringing it out at the group, it becomes easier to live with. No matter how much you grieve, you learn that you have to pick yourself up and move on.”
“I feel as though I’ve been running a marathon, and thanks to FSOS, I feel that I’m on the last mile.”
“I’ve ,made some close friends who really understand me.”
“It is extraordinary what happens inside the group. We are both the helpers and the helped.”
“I would definitely encourage someone to join a group. It would help them through all this mystery and confusion that seems to surround death”
“The idea of bringing a picture of our loves ones was excellent. It was extremely moving to put faces to names of everyone together. I found it difficult, yet paradoxically the most healing session”
“I think the vast majority of people would benefit from a bereavement group, even though grief work is hard work”.
” Given the circumstances of my loss and the lack of rituals, the group was truly a “Godsend” for me”
“Dear Group Leaders
I need to express my sincere thanks to you for helping me through this terrible time in my life. You are exceptionally compassionate and understanding and that meant so much to me. You never made me feel crazy, and believe me there were times when I felt awful. It is difficult to convey to you what an impact you had on me. I always felt safe with the group and I know that was because you were very sincere in dealing with people who are hurting. To help deal with the pain inside that’s with me day to day
It’s helped me know I’m not alone in what I’m going through
It’s even made me smile at times – all thanks to each of you
So I just wanted to say thanks and let you know I care
My thoughts are with you always
The following letter was mailed to The Gazette after reading an article they placed in it concerning suicide. The article upset me deeply. I think the following letter says why. The Gazette did not print this letter.
Show Some Respect to Survivors of Suicide
First of all let me make it clear that by the term “Survivor of Suicide” we are not talking about someone who has attempted suicide and survived the attempt. What we are talking about are those people who have lost either a family member or close friend to suicide.
Suicide can be more painful than any other kind of death, and harder to acknowledge. It is the second leading cause of death among the general population of Quebec and the number one cause of death in Europe. 1,351 people in Quebec alone took their own lives in 1997. For each one of those suicide related deaths an estimated six family members or close friends were left deeply affected. “Even though suicide is not our decision, our lives are irreversibly affected by it’s consequences.”
It’s bad enough that survivors have to put up with the stigma, shame and silence that often accompany a death by suicide. This alone is enough to cause feelings of isolation, deep depression, and negative effects on the grieving process.
It is absolutely appalling that survivors have to put up with the medias lack of consideration and compassion. Obviously there aren’t to many members of the media who are survivors.
The media is perhaps the ultimate of all teaching methods. It is a link between teacher ( the media ) and student ( society ). Instead of telling society “how” John Doe took his life, tell how society can help survivors, or look for (and prevent) suicidal signs in the people they love. Whether it’s a family member or a good friend.
It is absolutely not necessary to let the public know how John Doe or Jane Smith took their life. What matters is that the person took their own life, period. ( A sad fact in itself ).
Believe me when I say that members of the media would think twice before writing articles on suicide if they happened to find a family member or friend who took their own life. And it is hoped that they would show a little more compassion toward survivors. I say this from experience. I know from experience…, I found my brother.
Paul Kepron, M.A. Ed.Tech.
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