As the anniversary of my father's suicide approaches, I wanted to reach out to the Alliance of Hope to thank members who took the time to give me support when I needed it most. My father died when I was young, and it wasn't until I was a parent myself that I was able to fully grieve and come through the other side.
I have learned that this loss is a process that ebbs and flows, but that the devastation of suicide doesn't have to diminish your own light, joy, and hope for the future. I know my father would be proud of me, and I am proud that I carry a part of him inside of me and see him in the gentleness of my children.
One of the hardest elements of suicide, and one that isn't spoken of much, is the stigma it carries. I spent years growing up ashamed of how my father died. I worried that others would see me as broken or similarly troubled, as he was. I struggled with how to explain my father's death to new boyfriends, and then eventually my own children, who had many questions.