Wednesday, September 9, 2009


I just returned from the first session with the second participant in my suicide survivors project. I spent just a little bit of our time together tonight capturing some initial portraits. This is Caroline who lost her ex-husband to suicide. In these portraits, the object she chose to represent her ex-husband are her wedding rings.

Caroline talked about how much of her healing process has involved accepting all of the emotions and feelings she experienced after her loss - anger, pain, and especially guilt - and realizing that she personally was not responsible for her ex-husband's decision to end his life. She has also had to deal with whether of not those around her would be accepting of all the emotions she was experiencing.
Understanding that we are not in any way responsible for a loved one's decision to end their life is a difficult process. She mentioned how many people who were in her ex-husband's life realized, only too late, that they had never told him how much they thought of him or how much he meant to them. To me, this reminds me to let those in my life know that I love them. It reminds me that the word of encouragement or compliment that I may hold back for whatever reason should freely fall from my lips. Even though no one is responsible for another person's decision for suicide, we may never know the effect that a positive word may have on someone's life. Under our tough exterior, we are all fragile creatures. Take a moment to encourage those around you.

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