Guest blog by Jan McDaniel

Suicide changes everything. Yet, not all of the changes to come are negative. Trust that the pain will soften, that life will be worth living again. Since I can’t do anything to influence the passage of time and cause these things to happen sooner for you, I thought I would share my wishes for your healing.

Over the next week or so, I hope you will find a bit of relief in rest. Naps, especially.

I wish you peaceful moments in which you can hold onto the love you shared with that special person. Love outlasts pain, but when pain is deepest, it is difficult to remember that you never have to give up what this precious one means to you. Never.

I want the weather to be gentle where you live. Walking in natural surroundings or contemplating snow through the window can bring healing comfort. Let it.

I hope you will remember you are not alone, especially if your loss is recent.

I wish for you acknowledgment that this year is different, that someone important is missing. That hurts.

My hope is that your loved one will continue to be included in your life in some way. Through sharing memories and hearing others call his name. Through carrying on the work she wanted to do. Through photos that can cause pain but that can also bring tender smiles to faces streaked with tears. Feeling this pain is the way to healing and acceptance.

I wish you reminders that others do understand, do grieve with you, and will hold your hand.

Jan-McDaniel-imageJan McDaniel creates projects for survivors of traumatic loss through Way For Hope. A former journalist and educator, Jan never expected her personal grief to lead to writing about suicide for people all over the world, but that is exactly what happened. Her greatest tragedy became a hope-filled mission to help others through the devastation that follows this kind of traumatic loss.