HALOS - Healing After a Loved One's Suicide
HALOS was started in Davenport, Florida in January, 2007 by Marie Dudek. It is a part of my journey of healing after the death of my beautiful 22-year old daughter, Natalie Gillett, the youngest of my two children, and my only daughter.
I have come to realize I had little knowledge of suicide when Natalie died, even though we talked about depression and her suicidal thoughts. A junior away at college, she came home mid-year and over the next 18 months, Natalie and I talked a lot about what was going on in her life. She openly discussed depression and suicide with her friends and me. She also keep some things deep inside so as not to burden us. Natalie was hospitalized twice, went on and off medications, participated in different types of therapy sessions on and off, and ended her life on Friday, June 13, 2003.
I invite you to view Natalie's memorial site by clicking here.
After that horrendous day when I found her, I explored many ways of dealing with my grief. One method was through participating in a survivors group in Chicago, Illinois, called LOSS (Loving Outreach to Survivors of Suicide). Talking with other individuals going through this intense trauma, grief and at the same time having to deal with all of the routine things in everyday life was of immense benefit to me. I deeply connected with them as human beings. They got it. They understood what I was feeling, whether it was sadness, guilt, relief, uncertainty, confusion, anger or impatience. There was no judging of each other. There was only love, tenderness and a deep understanding of the tremendous loss each of us endured that permiated the atmosphere whenever we were together.
After moving to Florida in December, 2004, I located the Left Behind After Suicide (LBAS) Support Group and found immediate connectedness with others there. I want to provide such an atmosphere to others as they work through their loss and grief. HALOS brings that desire to fruition. I attended peer facilitation of a suicide survivor support group training offered by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention in 2006.
I have received many gifts, blessings and miracles in my life. Many I recognize now to a much greater degree since Natalie's death. There's nothing good nor bad about that, it's just how it is. I now want to share all of my experiences and support others to bring forth their own healing, peace and serenity.
Imagine a world where each and every human being is fully aware of the difference they make in the universe. Take a look at my daily creations at: www.creatingtoday.net
Peace and love,
Marie Dudek Brown