A day for comfort, sharing
On Dec. 27, 2011, I received a call from my hysterical sister notifying me that our dad had taken his life. In an instant, my world changed. The pain that accompanies a loss by suicide can only be understood by a fellow survivor. In my own practice, I spend the day walking alongside others as they work to find purpose in their pain. I chose this path after experiencing the isolation that often follows a suicide loss as you work to understand a world that no longer makes sense.
One day a year, people who have lost a loved one to suicide come together to support, comfort and connect with one another. It is a place to be understood, a place to find hope, and a place to heal.
Survivor Day was originally created by an act of Congress in 1999. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention now sponsors and supports local events in order to bring suicide loss survivors together. In addition to the AFSP-produced documentary that highlights fellow survivors and their journey, we will feature a panel of individuals all impacted by suicide.
Walking alongside others continues to reiterate my purpose that was found within my pain. I am thrilled to offer a place for those to gather on Survivor Day, Saturday, Nov. 23, at the Barrington Area Library at 1 p.m. The event is free to the public, and lunch will be served to those who are registered in advance.
Jessica L. Hutchison