The Suicide Survivor’s Affirmation by Jeffrey Jackson

Someone I loved very much has ended their own life. I will never truly know all that was happening in their mind that brought them to that tragic choice.

However, there are things of which I can be reasonably certain…

  • —  If they were here, even they could not fully explain their mindset or answer all of my questions.
  • —  In their state of mind, they could not have fully comprehended the reality of their own death.
  • —  They could not have fully appreciated the devastating impact their suicide would have on the people in their life.

    As such, by their last act, they made their most tragic mistake, unknowingly creating unparalleled pain in the hearts of those whom they most loved.

    The person I lost is beyond my help now in every way but one:

    I can help them by working to ease the pain they have caused and by not allowing their most enduring legacy to be one of tragedy. They benefit from this help whether or not I perceive them as welcoming it, in the same way that we help the aggressor whenever we nurse his victim—by minimizing the damage he has caused.

    As a result, each and every day, I can help the person I lost by… …enjoying life.

    …smiling and laughing.

    …not dwelling in feelings of sadness or remorse.

    …loving others.

    …taking new steps in life toward positive new horizons.

    …helping those who feel their loss to do the same.

    …and, in short, not letting their mistake continue to create sorrow, neither in the world around me, nor in myself.

    I will try to picture my lost loved one asking me to do this every day—to please help undo the damage they caused in whatever little ways possible.

    And I promise that I will.

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