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sarah boardman-miller

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How do you move beyond why, when someone takes their own life? How do we get beyond the shame?

I wrote an open letter to my dad, my dear friends, those that have also been left to move forward. http://sparkignitefire.me/2012/02/14/open-letter-to-those-that-chose-that-moment/
It has had 1000's of reads in just over 2 months. This is a conversation that is desperate to happen.


Closing Statement from sarah boardman-miller

The gratitude I feel is almost overwhelming.
Thank you for being raw, able to be loved and sharing your hearts.
Let's continue the conversation.
I adore you.

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    Apr 19 2012: I experienced the suicide of a close childhood friend just over a year ago. He was struggling with sobriety and ended up taking his own life as a way to escape the hardships of that battle.

    The emotional toll it took on me was egregious: I rarely show physical signs of emotion, but I cried often, slept rarely, and constantly asked myself, "why?" for an extended period of time. I still occasionally think about my friend, still asking myself "Is there anything I could have done? Was I there enough for him? Why didn't he come to us (his close friends) with these buried issues?"

    The answer is that the only real way to deal with a loved one's choice to take their own life is time. I was upset when I was first told this, but it is true. There should be NO shame in discussing your loved one's passing. It was their choice, not yours. You should not be ashamed, or feel shame for them. If they were capable of telling us now, I know that the emotion of 'shame' could in no way compete with the complex gathering of emotions that forced them into such an abrupt conclusion.

    Remember them for who they were, the good in them. Do not let their suicide taint the great impression that they left on the world to cause the grief of their loss. I remember my friend as a great man who was capable of making an entire room laugh, ease tensions, and lead when everyone else followed. His poor decision towards the end of his life will never make me feel shame towards or for him.
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      Apr 19 2012: Martin, I am so sorry.
      Suicide is sudden and as I said in my earlier reply, sometimes truly unexpected.
      The poet Ted Berrigan said "when someone dies they move from the outside of your body to the inside". I love this.
      What society says about how he died is truly irrelevant. You lost someone dear. You won't see or hear them again. That is the pain for me.

      Thank you so much for opening your heart to this.
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        Apr 20 2012: Sarah,
        I appreciate it. That's a fantastic quote. Please let me know if there is anything more I can do to help you; with the kindest regards and heartfelt sympathy.
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          Apr 20 2012: So kind Martin, thank you.
          My latest suicide, David, was in Jan. He was a dear friend of many years. A lover of the earth and an arborist. While there is still grief, I saw very quickly how much he taught me in life and with his death. I see him in every change in the weather, every leaf and season.

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