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October 2011



“ SHARING AND HEALING ”torrey-pines   

Written & Edited By  :  Al & Linda Vigil

                                  ARTICLES IN THIS ISSUE
                                         “Grieving Notes”
                                  “Battle of Tears”    
                  O, yes! People Do Say Stupid Things
                          Book Review “Half In Love”    
                 Work for Prevention of Youth Suicide
                      Parents Sue School District
                       Coping With The Holidays

                           Rich Schwoebel Letter
                            WEB Site Addresses

By - Linda Vigil

Al and I spent ten days in San Diego with our grandchildren, while our daughter and son-in-law took a cruise to Alaska. During this time we had made a decision to try and find out where Mia’s boyfriend was living. To our surprise, he was living only two blocks from our daughter’s home.

We took a walk one night, walked up to his front door and his wife answered. We asked to speak to her husband.  After a few moments, he came to the door with so much anger showing towards us. He said many hurtful things out of that emotion and the disbelief that we were standing in front of him. We told him that we were not here out of blame or our own anger, but that it had taken us twenty-eight years to walk to his door, and acknowledge his pain! We realized he not only had his pain, but if his love, and our love, for Mia had been enough, Mia would still be alive! We saw the anger disappear from his face. He started to apologize for his rude behavior when he had answered the door.  We told him, he had nothing to apologize for. He then asked us to tell Mia’s sisters that he said hello. Then he shook our hands and walked back into his into his house.

Al and I had a good cry. We were left with the feeling of peace. We not only turned him over to God, but
  ...we forgave him!

After a few more days in San Diego, we left for Payson, Arizona  ...searching for a few days of relaxation. We stopped at a grocery store, I picked up the Payson Newspaper.  Looking through it, I came across an article on suicide loss. A lady by the name of  Eizabeth Siller had lost her only daughter Kimberly, on September 14, 2009. Elizabeth questioned her storm of emotions in the midst of her grief. She was questioning, “why wasn’t my love enough to keep my daughter alive?” Elizabeth yearned for the connection with anyone who could relate to her loss, but there was no one in Payson.  Telling one’s story often offers the greatest relief after such a crushing loss.

Elizabeth Siller’s inability to cope with her daughter’s suicide, and her hunger to talk about her daughter led her off the little mountain community to the valley 100 miles away, to Phoenix, and to SOS meetings there.  Elizabeth attended the SOS meetings twice a week, just to listen and talk, to release emotions, and let it all out. But making the journey twice a week was too much, and Elizabeth knew Payson needed it’s own group.  In 2009, there were roughly 100 suicides in that Arizona county.

Elizabeth, along with Joanne Affeldt, a bereavement co-ordinator with hospice compassion, has started a support group in Payson by the name of  “Lost Lives” ... a place where people can talk openly. Elizabeth states “we want to help people get through this horrible, horrible time in their life.” She added, “I just needed someone to be my friend.”

Al and I called Elizabeth Siller and expressed how proud we were of her, that through her pain, she wanted to help other people. She shared her “Kimberly Story” and we shared our “Mia Story” and offered our newsletter if she thought it would help survivors.

Al and I are truly convinced that our mission in this life is  “Sharing and Healing”.
In Sharing & Healing,             
- Linda Vigil       


The battle is not to be strong alone,
the battle is be strong enough to shed tears with others
-without explanation or apology.
If they know you and love you, they will need neither.

-  Al V. -              

Oh, Yes!   People Do Say Stupid Things

I’m sure you’ve realized by now that many people don’t know what to say to a grieving person.
It will always be best to say nothing than some of these wrong things !

↝ Time heals all wounds.

↝ You’ll be stronger because of this.

↝ Don't you think It is time for you to move on with your life?can't fix stupi

↝ Don't worry you'll see him or her again someday.    

↝ He is or she is not hurting anymore.

↝ I know what you are going through.

↝ It was the will of God.  (As though the loss is some kind of punishment, retribution, or reward.)

↝ God wouldn’t give you more than you can handle.

↝ Maybe it was for the best.

↝ People die everyday.

↝ Stop dwelling on it.

↝ They are in a better place.

↝ When you get around to it, I would like to have this item or that item.

↝ When are you going to get rid of this stuff?

↝ You’re young. You’ll find someone else.

↝ You have other children  -or-  you can have another child.

↝ I know how you feel.
.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

Unfortunately, a Lot of the Things Listed Above Are True,
But When Someone Is Grieving,
Those Are the Comments That They Least Want to Hear

Most people are well intentioned. They just truly don’t realize how phrases like these diminish your unique and significant loss. America’s poet, Maya Angelou, wrote, “You did what you knew how to do and when you knew better, you did better.” Perhaps, instead of getting angry at poor intentions, you can keep in mind that they really and truly are trying to help.

Most widows and widowers just need a hug or someone to be there even if they don't utter a word and just listen.  Divorce is not the same as the death of a spouse. Yes, in divorce you are shhhhmourning the loss of a life together, hopes and dreams that have ended but that person is still on this earth walking, talking and breathing. You still have that choice if you want to talk with them. Death takes that choice away.

The depth of pain associated with the death of a child is inmeasureable. We are conditioned as we grow up to realize that mom, dad, grandma and grandpa will more than likely die first. After the loss to suicide you are forever changed.

Delaying the grieving process not only prolongs your healing time, it can be worse for you in the long run. Holding it all in to "be strong" for everyone else can affect your own health, mental status and well being.

If you are the one dealing with a death, seek support from your family and friends. Enter into an honest and frank discussion about your loss, your pain, and your fears. Find a support group locally or even on the internet.

If you are a family member, a friend or coworker of someone dealing with a loss, just be there for them. Let them talk, ramble, rant, rave or whatever they need to do. There are only two things that they can do wrong —and that is to hurt themselves or anyone else.

Most of the time all that is necessary is a gentle squeeze of the hand, a light kiss, an earnest hug, and your presence.
If you just have to say something   ...let it be a simple,  "I'm sorry and I truly care."


                    “HALF IN LOVE : Surviving the Legacy of Suicide”
                               By Linda Sexton  (- A Holder of Hope for the Depressed)

Author Linda Gray Sexton learned about depression the hard way. When she was 21, her mother, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Anne Sexton, committed suicide by inhaling carbon monoxide in the garage of their Boston home.

Her mother's death was a shock for Sexton, who was in college at the time. But an even greater shock came in the next few years, as Sexton realized that she, too, was seriously ill. She descended to the depths of depression, eventually making multiple attempts to end her own life.

It was a brutal experience, and Sexton now says that one of the worst aspects was the knowledge that she was following in her mother's footsteps. She writes about her illness  —and the long process of recovery  —in her new memoir,  "Half in Love: Surviving the Legacy of Suicide" (Counterpoint Press, $25, 320 pages). It's a powerful, often harrowing tale, and Sexton tells it with insight and unflinching honesty.

One thing Sexton didn't know at the time of her mother's death was that depression, and suicidal tendencies, can be hal in loveinherited. In a recent interview in Berkeley, the Redwood City-based author, 57, said that her own illness came as a surprise.

"At 21, I was in denial," says Sexton. "At the time my mother died, I kind of resolved that I would never have a mental breakdown; that it would never happen to me the way it had happened to her. It really took me by surprise when I found myself faltering and unable to deal with life in exactly the same ways that she had been unable to deal with hers. It was only later that I began to realize the full ramifications of depression, how it is inheritable and how I was going to struggle in the same way she had."

Sexton recalls having dark feelings as a teenager and experiencing bouts of depression in college. But it wasn't until after she completed her first memoir, "Searching for Mercy Street"  —which, ironically, was about coming to terms with her mother's death  —that she became recognizably ill.

"In that book, I had talked about forgiving my mother for the kind of parent she was, and for the difficulty she had in parenting," says Sexton. "Then I began to realize that I really hadn't resolved my feelings about her death.”

"It was humiliating. In 'Mercy Street,' I wrote about feeling strong and not succumbing to depression  —about being able to conquer it. Here I'd written about it publicly, about how I'd overcome it. Now I was overwhelmed by it, completely unable to cope."

Sexton now knows that her experience wasn't unusual.  "Half in Love" outlines alarming statistics on depression and suicide compiled in recent years: Someone commits suicide every 17 minutes in the United States, and nearly a million people worldwide take their own lives each year. Ninety percent of people who commit suicide suffer from mental illness such as depression or bipolar disorder. Suicide is the third-highest cause of death among teenagers, and among adult children of depressed parents, rates of depression and anxiety disorders are three times higher than those of the general population.

Sexton, who has written four novels and a biography, "Anne Sexton: A Self-Portrait in Letters," knew something was not right with her mother. Manic bursts of energy were followed by prolonged lows; repeated suicide attempts led to hospitalizations. In retrospect, says Sexton, her mother never was properly diagnosed.

Sexton's own depression started in the 1980s and crept up gradually. Although she was happily married with two small children, she began to experience long stretches of time "in a dark tunnel." One night, she locked herself in the bathroom and slit her wrists.

A bewildering series of events followed  —hospitalization, therapy with numerous doctors whose approaches, she says, were often at odds with each other. Despite medical care, her depression continued to worsen. She numbed the pain by self-mutilating (cutting), self-medicating (with alcohol) and, finally, simply sleeping for days at a time. Many friends and relatives drifted away. Her marriage unraveled. She attempted suicide two more times.

To meet her now, one would never guess that Sexton  —a petite, attractive blonde with a warm smile  —had been through such a crisis. She says that's one of the reasons she wrote "Half in Love." "Depression is still very much in the closet," she says, "and a lot of people don't want to let it out."

She attributes her recovery to three factors. She eventually found a therapist willing to treat suicidal patients (many won't, she notes.) With a combination of drug and "talk" therapy, the medications finally started to work. And Sexton started a new relationship, with a man she describes as wholly supportive. They married in 2009.

Today, she's feeling well. She's repaired relationships with family members; her sons, 26 and 28, are still in her life. She's on the board of Families for Depression Awareness,  a national organization providing education and outreach to families of depressed persons. She maintains a website  www.lindagraysexton.com with a message board and discussion groups and often speaks publicly about depression; the U.S. Army, in light of high rates of suicide among Iraq War veterans, has asked her to give a talk in Washington, D.C., this fall. "Mercy Street" has just been reissued in paperback.

And she gets mail from people who are depressed, many of whom have attempted suicide themselves.

"Half in Love" is for them, says Sexton. "I want them to know that survival is possible," she says. "That recovery is possible. One of the reasons I got better is that my therapist said, 'I will take hope and hold it for you until you're ready to take it and hold it yourself.' She offered me that possibility. I feel very hopeful now, but a lot of these people have no hope at all. And I want to hold hope for them."

Mothers Work for Prevention of Youth Suicide  :  2011

Aside from memories, all Laurie Munley has left of her 17-year-old son fits into a small shopping bag. Inside are photographs of Robert as a smiling fourth-grader, a freshman football player and a handsome flirt who had no trouble attracting female attention.

Beneath the photographs rests a manila envelope stuffed with four sheets of notebook paper. Scrawled with crude drawings and tortured thoughts, the papers were found on the passenger seat of Robert's car. He was in the driver's seat, dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. No goodbye. No explanation. No dying declaration. Just four scraps of paper and a wound that will never heal.

In 2002, youth suicide was still a background topic in the American discussion — taboo in many families, schools and other institutions and too complicated for a news media focused on topics easily cast in black and white. A recent rash of youth suicides nationally and in Northeast Pennsylvania, however, has given the issue new cache with news organizations and new urgency with parents and public officials.

Since 2005, 18 Lackawanna County youths ages 15 through 20 have committed suicide, six in 2010 alone, according to county coroner's office records.

Suicide is the third-leading cause of death for people between the ages of 15 and 24, and the sixth-leading cause of death among children ages 5 to 14, according to the American Academy Stop Youth Suicideof Child Adolescent Psychiatry. Nearly 5,000 American teens and young adults take their own lives every year. Suicide is the second-leading cause of death on college campuses, and self-inflicted injuries account for nearly half a million emergency room visits annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Suicide prevention advocates in the public and private sectors are determined to seize the moment and push for action. Some of the most determined advocates are the mothers of suicide victims. Like Munley, Faber, of Forest City, has teamed with Kathy Wallace, director of Advocacy and Community Mental Health Services for the Scranton-based Advocacy Alliance, to raise awareness for greater access to counseling for at-risk teens and their peers and families.

The Advocacy Alliance was selected as Lackawanna County coordinator of a pilot program to train primary care physicians to screen patients ages 14 to 24 for depression as part of routine physical examinations. Most people who commit suicide have a treatable mental illness, most commonly depression, but rarely seek treatment. Up to 75 percent have seen a primary care physician in the past 30 days, according to the American Journal of Psychiatry.

Untreated depression is especially damaging to children and teens, who are naturally impulsive and mentally and physically predisposed to magnify even the slightest setback, said Jean Rosencrance, director of trauma services for the Lackawanna County district attorney's office. "When teenagers are hungry, they are balls of hunger," she said. "When they are in pain, they are balls of pain. They can't see anything else but that. Coupled with depression, it causes you to focus on the negative, 'I am not worth anything and this will never end.'"

Feeling trapped in torment, dangerously depressed youths seek a "permanent solution to a temporary problem," Rosencrance said.

While bringing primary care physicians into the suicide prevention loop is a promising step forward, Wallace said schools remain reluctant to implement training programs for staff and faculty, which the Advocacy Alliance provides free of charge. School directors and administrators often cite liability concerns as reasons for rejecting suicide prevention training. If they address the issue and a student commits suicide, they fear being sued. School officials are also apt to downplay a student's suicide for fear of inspiring copycats.

Attitudes may be changing, however, and a recent spate of lawsuits filed across the country should be a wake-up call for school officials, Wallace said. While most of the suits center on bullying, a key component of many is the lack of suicide prevention training for administration, faculty and staff.

Scranton High School has recently taken the lead in addressing teen suicide, Wallace said. The November suicide of a student sparked multiple calls from parents asking what the administration was going to do. Principal Eric Schaeffer took the parents' concerns to heart, she said. Schaeffer said he is committed to making suicide prevention a priority, but the schools can't do it alone. Parents must get involved, Schaeffer added.  "I'm very encouraged by what he's trying to do there, and I'm committed to working with him," Wallace said.

"It's got to be a partnership," he said, expressing disappointment that only about 100 people turned out for a January panel discussion that included Wallace and representatives of the medical, legal and school communities. Faber attended the forum, which led her to Wallace.

"I was disappointed with the turnout, but I'm not going to give up," he said. "And I don't think the people I'm working with are going to give up, either."

Schools can be a "huge front line defense" against youth suicide, said Nancy Rappaport, M.D., assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and director of school-based programs at Cambridge Health Alliance. Fear of inspiring copycats is overblown, and failing to train staff and students to recognize the signs of depression is asking for trouble.

"Talking about suicide doesn't make you commit suicide," she said. "In fact, it may be an opportunity to show them that you really care and want to help them find a better way."

If his fellow students and school administrators had been trained to recognize his deepening depression, Munley believes her son could have been saved. The signs were there, she said. On the ladder of suicide risk indicators, Robert's descent into self-ruin touched on nearly every rung.

At age 7, Robert witnessed the violent break-up of his parents' marriage over the Christmas holidays. When he returned from vacation, his kindergarten teacher noticed disturbing changes. The sweet, outgoing little boy who easily made friends suddenly became sullen, short-tempered and violent. Munley chalked the changes up to the divorce and figured Robert would adjust with time. Two and a half years later, she began dating Robert's eventual stepfather and became pregnant. The boy resented the new rival for his mother's attention and began acting out.

"His actions became more aggressive, especially toward his siblings," Munley says. "At one point, he tried to choke his brother with a belt and put tacks in his bed.

She took Robert to another therapist. And another. And another. Each offered the same diagnosis: sibling rivalry. Finally, a psychiatrist suggested medication. Robert refused to take it.
As he entered his freshman year of high school, Robert seemed to have turned a corner. His grades earned him a partial scholarship to Bishop O'Hara High School (now Holy Cross), and he went out for football.

When Munley picked up Robert's report card on parents' night, she was told he was disruptive and disrespectful in class. She was crushed and confronted her son. He claimed the teachers crowdwere bullies, and he was merely standing up for himself and his classmates. She had Robert evaluated again, and was told he was "intelligent, charming and possibly bored in class."

The slide worsened in his sophomore year. Robert's grades fell, and his fighting with other students led to mandatory anger management courses. The escalating battles with his stepfather created constant turmoil. "I was angry at him, thinking there was nothing wrong with him, that he was just a bad kid," Munley says. "He was grounded all the time."

In his junior year, Robert started a volatile relationship with a girl his age. His grades dropped again. He spent hours on the computer, had trouble sleeping and lost weight. He wore dirty clothes and always seemed agitated. Munley had him tested for drugs. A first test was positive; a second, negative. She took Robert to his family doctor and asked for a depression screening. After speaking with Robert privately, the doctor said the screening was unnecessary.

Soon after, Robert and his girlfriend broke up. He went to Lowe's and bought duct tape and a hose and drove to a spot in Scott Township, where they sometimes went to be alone. He ran the hose from the exhaust into the window and left the car running. A couple driving by spotted the car and called 911. Robert was taken to Community Medical Center and revived.

The attempt landed him in First Hospital Wyoming Valley in Wilkes-Barre for inpatient psychiatric therapy. He pleaded to come home, insisted he had made a mistake, nothing more, and had no intention of trying to harm himself again. After two weeks, the doctors agreed and he was released. Robert said he was going to live with his father, Munley told him she would rather he stay with her, but would not stop him. It was the last time she saw Robert alive. On June 25, 2002, Robert ended his own life with a hunting rifle.

"I tried to see him, but the police wouldn't let me in," Munley says. "I remember meeting with the funeral home counselor to pick out a casket. She said she couldn't fix him for an open-casket viewing."

"Every time I go back and relive it, the pain is as fresh as in 2002. I wish I had pursued the depression screening. I wish I had been a better mother. I wish I stood up to the psychologist in the hospital. I wish I had told him I loved him more. I wish I had shown him more support, so he had somewhere to come and talk."

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla  -   2011

The parents of a 13-year-old American girl who hanged herself in 2009 after being ridiculed by classmates for texting a suggestive photo of herself to a boy have sued the school district. Hope Witsell's parents said Hillsborough County school officials failed to take appropriate action after learning the teen had suicidal thoughts, according to a lawsuit filed this week in federal court in Tampa, Florida.

The eighth grader killed herself in her bedroom on September 12, 2009. At the time, she was enduring harassment from other students over a sexting incident that occurred at the end of the prior school year. Her mother later discovered a copy of a "no-harm contract" in which her schooldaughter agreed not to attempt suicide and to call a school social worker if she was considering ending her life, the lawsuit said. It was signed the day before Witsell died.
Donna and Charles Witsell said the social worker did not tell them that she met with their daughter or share concerns about shallow cuts seen on the teen's thigh. They claim that the social worker also failed to involve the school psychologist, principal, school resource officer or Hope Witsell's assigned scholastic counselor.

The social worker "squandered the trust, confidence and critical knowledge bestowed exclusively upon her" by Hope Witsell, the lawsuit said. The parents accuse the school district of negligence and violating the teen's and their own constitutional rights. The school district does not comment on pending litigation, spokeswoman Linda Cobbe said Thursday.    

Coping With The Holidays

Holidays and special days, such as birthdays, anniversaries graduations, weddings, and Easter, to name a few, are all difficult days for the bereaved, but for many, the most difficult holiday of the year is Christmas. This day more than any other means family together. It is at this time we are so acutely aware of the death of someone we love. For many of us, the wish is to go quickly from Dec. 1st to Jan. 1st. We continually hear Christmas Carols, people wishing everyone, "Merry Christmas."  We see the perfect gift for our dead child, spouse, or relative and suddenly realize they will not be here.

Listed below are some ideas and suggestions that others have found helpful in coping with the Holiday holiday symbolSeason. Choose only the one(s) that will help you.

✓  Family get-togethers may be extremely difficult. Be honest with each other about your feelings. Sit down with your family and decide what you want and need to do for the holiday season. Don't set expectations too high for yourself during those days. If you wish things to be the same, you are going to be disappointed. Do things a little differently. Undertake only what each family member can handle comfortably.

✓    There is no right or wrong way to handle the day. Some may wish to follow family traditions, while others may choose to change.

✓    Keep in mind the feelings of your children or family members. Try to make the holiday season as joyous as possible for them.

✓    Be careful of the "shoulds." It is better to do what is most helpful for you and your family. If a situation looks especially difficult over the holidays, you may choose to not get involved.

✓   Set your limitations. Realize that it isn't going to be easy. Do the things that are very special and/or important to you. Do the best that you can.

✓    Once you have made the decision on the role you and your family will play during the holidays, let relatives and friends know.

✓   Baking and cleaning the house can get out of proportion. If these chores are enjoyable, go ahead, but not to the point that it is tiring. Either buy baked goods or go without this year.

✓   If you used to cut your own tree, consider buying it already cut this year. Let your children, other family members, neighboring teens, friends, or people from your church help with the decorating of the tree and house. If you choose not to have a tree this year —that’s ok too.

✓    Emotionally, physically, and psychologically it is draining. You need every bit of strength. Try to get enough rest.

✓    What you choose to do the first year you don't have to do the next.

✓    One possibility for the first year may be to visit relatives, friends, or even go away on a vacation. Planning, packing, etc., keeps your mind somewhat off the holiday and you share the time in a different and hopefully less painful setting.

✓    How do we answer, "Happy Holidays?"  You may say, "I'll try" or "Best wishes to you." Your response with a polite smile can be the best for you this year.

✓    If shopping seems to be too much, have your relative or close friend help you. Consider shopping through a catalogue.

✓    If you are accustomed to having Christmas dinner at your home, change and go to relatives, or even to a special restaurant. Some people do find it helpful to be involved in the activity of preparing a large meal. Serving buffet style and/or eating in a different room may help.

✓    Try attending religious services at a different time at your church, synagogue, or temple.

Some people fear crying in public, especially at religious services. It is usually better not to push the tears down any time. You should be gentle with yourself and not expect too much of yourself. Worrying about crying is an additional burden. If you let go and cry, you probably will feel better. It should not ruin the day for other family members, but will provide them with the same freedom.

✓    Cut back on your card sending. It is not necessary to send cards, especially to those people we will see over the holidays.

✓    Do something for someone else, such as volunteer work at soup kitchens or visit the lonely and shut-ins. Ask someone who is alone to share the day with your family. Provide help for a needy family.

✓    Donate a gift or money in your loved one's name.

✓    Share your concerns, feelings, apprehensions, etc. with a relative or friend as the holiday approaches. Tell them that this is a difficult time for you. Accept their help. You will appreciate their love and support at this time.

✓    Holidays often magnify feelings of loss of a loved one. It is important and natural to experience the sadness that comes. To block such feelings is unhealthy. Keep the positive memory of the loved one alive.

✓    Often after the first year the people in your life may expect you to be over it. We are never over it but the experience of many bereaved is that eventually they enjoy the holidays again. Hold on to HOPE.

sad smiley
Don't forget, anticipation of any holiday can be so much worse
than the actual holiday itself.

A few months ago, we asked you to write down your thoughts / words on how SOS and or how Rich Schwoebel have affected you and or what SOS has meant to you. He started SOS many years ago, and it is the longest running support group here in New Mexico.
Thank you for your participation on this project, the scrap book turned out very nice, and was given to Rich last month. It was a wonderful gift to give Rich. I know I wouldn't be here today if it weren't for these meetings.
Best wishes . . .

                              Dayna,  SOS volunteer

.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .


letter and penHere is the thank you note from Rich :

Dear Participants in Survivors of Suicide of New Mexico September 2011

A few weeks ago Linda Vigil and Dayna Anton visited to present to me your large volume of personnel recollections written by several of you participating in meetings of Survivors of Suicide in the Albuquerque area. I can’t thank you enough. I have read the wonderful heart felt thoughts that you have expressed, and I am deeply moved by your gratitude and many insights. It is truly a wonderful collection and I shall always cherish your expressions of thanks. Of course, we need always to thank one another for the insightful sharing that has moved all of us on our path toward wholeness and recovery as we minister to one another.

While our tragic losses remain with us, I think many of us have come to believe that wonderful things that can emerge from such devastating events. These are events that have irreversibly changed our lives into ones of greater sensitivity, and with perspectives that often encourage us to share them with others in their time of need. We have been forever sensitized by these sudden and unexpected losses. As survivors we can, perhaps better than any others, reach out with compassion and care to those with recent losses and help them find healing and new measures of understanding. We can walk with them as they find renewed trust and faith in their lives.

I know that many of you have found a personal ministry in reaching out to survivors not only in our midst, but also to those who have suffered other losses. We need one another as we move past such events and toward a new life that honors those very special people that we have lost and who will always mean so much to us.

An important expression of thanks can be found in assisting Marion, Al and Linda, and the many volunteers who support and nurture the important work of SOS. And indeed, support the broader effort to the prevention of suicide efforts that now are part of a national effort.

Thank you again for your thoughtful remembrance.

Rich Schwoebel,   (Albuquerque)

Visit the Albuquerque SOS Web Site for Local Meeting Information at


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