Sadly though, I know that membership in the club has grown since October. I know of a family in Georgetown that joined the club just last week, and tonight I received an email from a friend that more joined it last night.
It seems a young lady, a graduate of one of the local high schools and a freshman in college, took her life last night. I shall call them the Smith family (not their real name). I don't know the Smith family, and I didn't know their daughter, but I know what they are going through right now. They are in incredible pain. A huge part of their life was taken away unexpectedly and without warning. They are questioning themselves as to what they could have done. The question "Why?" is running through their heads over and over. They are trying to find reason where there is none, and no matter what you tell them, there is almost nothing that you can say to comfort them. They are asking questions for which there is no answer. They are blaming themselves. No doubt they feel guilty, and no matter what any one tells them at this point, they will continue to feel that way. They may even be looking at each other as a possible reason as to why. Blame might be laid at the feet of some one they know and love because they need to make sense out of this.
Over the next few months, it will not get much better for the Smiths. They are going to forget to do every day things such as eat, shower, change clothes,and pay bills. The things they used to do that brought them pleasure won't really seem to matter. Their beautiful yard might become a weed infested eyesore. The books that they loved to escape into will go unread, and work becomes an afterthought. They could very well overindulge as well. Food becomes an easy way to escape. So does alcohol or other substances. Anything that dulls the pain, even for a little while can become a habit. Sleep with come in bunches or not at all. If sleep does come, so might the nightmares. Scenes will run over and over in their heads as they replay situations they had no control over.
The Smiths will search for answers because as humans, we want to know why something so horrible could have happened. If they find the answers, it will never be enough. Nothing will be able fill hole that is left by the loss of a child. I am hoping that they will seek help as I have. I want to ask the Smiths to join my survivors group, or any other.I don't want them to think that they have to go this alone. There are others out there who have been where you are right now, and we want to help. Know that your lives will never be the same, and the pain you are feeling will not be going away. Like me and so many others, you have to learn to live with it.
For those reading this that are survivors, please pray for the Smiths as you know their pain. For those that are not survivors, please pray for them because they are suffering right now in a way you thankfully do not understand. We need to be supportive of each other in a time of crisis.