Who We Are

Survivors of Suicide (SOS) is a self-help group that provides a safe and supportive atmosphere, where those living after the suicide of a loved one can discuss their feelings and share their experiences with other survivors. We believe that one of the most beneficial things for survivors is to be able to talk about the suicide and their feelings without the fear of judgment or rejection.

Anyone who has suffered the loss of a loved one to suicide is welcome. Survivors may share their feelings with the group or simply listen. Everything shared at our meetings is to be kept confidential and discussed only within the confines of the group.

SOS is not intended to be a substitute for therapeutic counseling. However, we believe that if survivors can share their grief and loss with others who have experienced their unique pain, then their road to recovery will be shortened.

The Goal of SOS

When suicide has touched your life, your emotions are intensified to unbelievable and unbearable proportions. Many survivors deny the death and even more so the method. A flood of feelings engulf you- guilt, anger, shame, rejection, self-pity and bewilderment. It is normal to feel devastated and overwhelmed. Suicide temporarily destroys your good feelings about yourself, about life in general, and you may wonder if you will ever feel normal again.

The purpose of SOS is to help lessen the pain for you, the survivor- the person who is left behind when a loved one dies by suicide. Recent statistical data has estimated that 1 in every 64 Americans is a survivor of suicide. We know that after a suicide death, the journey of healing can be lonely, painful, and confusing as survivors may feel stigmatized, blamed or abandoned by others. Survivors are likely to isolate and get "stuck" in their grief if they don't get the understanding and the support that they so desperately need. That's why we encourage you to tell your story, to talk about the suicide, and to share your feelings. This will start the grieving process that will enable you to go on with your life in a healthy way. Survivors are NOT responsible for the suicide.

However, suicide is a traumatic death for those who remain behind. The sudden and unexpected nature of the death is impossible to comprehend and the question WHY becomes all-consuming. But medical researchers now know why. Suicide occurs in the presence of mental illness or substance abuse problems with the # 1 cause of suicide being untreated or inadequately treated depression. Depression is a brain disease that results in a chemical imbalance in the brain and affects how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. It is an illness that can lead to suicide when a person’s thinking becomes so distorted that they are incapable of thinking rationally and seeing any alternative but to end the intolerable level of pain that they are feeling. Healthy people do not kill themselves.

Nevertheless, your life has been seriously impacted. You will have your own timetable for coming out of your grief and you will recover. Many others have traveled this road before you and are living proof that it does get better. So please use this group to share with others who have suffered a similar loss. We are here to support you and most importantly, to give you hope and to let you know that you are not alone.

There is no doubt that this suicide changes your life but the goal is to someday be able to view this painful experience as an opportunity to grow and become a stronger and more compassionate person- a better person who will reach out to others in need. It will take time and determination but you will get there. And by doing this, you will make meaning from your loss and your loved one's death will not be in vain.