International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day, Saturday, November 23, is an occasion for survivors to join together for healing and support through their shared experience. Originally designated in 1999, the weekend before Thanksgiving is always recognized as Survivor Day since the holidays can be a difficult time of remembrance for those who have lost loved ones to suicide.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) coordinates over 300 events in the United States and worldwide, recognizing that this issue affects people from all walks of life. This year two events will be held in Arizona–in Tempe and Sierra Vista. While each event is different, all will feature a short AFSP documentary that shows families navigating the loss of a parent, child, sibling, or friend, in all different stages of grief. Regardless of one’s place in healing, Survivor Day aims to connect people to a network of communities that understand grief through shared experiences.
This year’s documentary is titled Pathways to Healing: Hope after Suicide Loss, and follows a community’s healing journey following the loss of a son, brother, and friend: Chris Taddeo. Watch the trailer here.
On Survivor Day, take time to recognize your own strength and the strength of those around you. Recognize those that have been in ultimate despair and managed to carry on; recognize those that are finding their own path to their new normal. If you need help, seek it. If you want to talk about your loss, talk about it freely.