The seminar hall at the All Souls Club was full. It was the Annual day of SOBS, Survivors Of Bereavement by Suicide. This is one of those support groups that wishes that it’s membership would continue to drop to the point where it would not need to exist. But sadly, year on year there are more and more families seeking help after being struck by this tragedy. They bring their stories, their feelings and thoughts to this sacred space where they are understood and honoured.
Some of the topics explored by us were – guilt being a major part of bereavement by suicide and how to deal with it; how much of a ‘choice’ is suicide; how useful and effective is the Coroner’s inquest and how can it be made more meaningful.
A few parents have been attending this annual meeting for more than 15 years. They all observed that at the meeting in 2009 there were roughly 10 parents present. Today there were more than 45 and they had to form 2 groups for meaningful exchange to take place.
Last year my friend N and I had to leave the meeting in the middle of a talk and we stood on the staircase hugging each other and crying inconsolably. Today N mediated one group of parents and I the other.
Getting through one day at a time, putting one foot in front of the other and then looking back, I see that bonds are strengthening, hearts are healing and light is entering not only into us but also into the world through our wounds.