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Survivor Q & A: Annie DiMattia

AnnieSurvivor of Suicide Loss Series

I posted some questions to my fellow survivors of suicide loss in an effort to better understand the grieving process. I also wanted to gain some tips and insight about moving through the grieving process and back into giggling, laughter and fun.

The first Survivor Q & A interview is with Annie DiMattia.

Q & A with Annie DiMattia

How was grieving the loss of your loved one by suicide different (if at all) from grieving the loss of other loved ones who did not die by suicide?

It was different because we all struggled with the “Why?” of it all. There was absolutely no closure. He left no note, and no one was expecting this.

It was tough to wrap our minds around the reality of it. We all also struggled with the notion that perhaps we could have done “more” to save him…we also recounted all of our conversations with him over and over again to try to determine if we hurt him further or if we could have helped him…there’s a lot of doubt and questions about this kind of death on the survivors’ part, I think.

In the aftermath of your loved one’s death, what 3 Things helped you learn to enjoy life and laugh again?

  1. We all got together and had a cool rap session and shared our fondest memories of him…we laughed hard and remembered him with joy.
  2. I was happy for him that he was no longer in pain. I believe in Heaven and believe that he is there, being joyful  – finally.
  3. Prayer and bonding with the other survivors in his family.

Did you feel guilt for laughing again and enjoying life after your loved one’s death? Meaning, did you feel you were not honoring their memory because you moved past intense grief?

Not at all. He had a marvelous sense of humor, so I know he was laughing just as much as me.

For those of you past the 12 month mark of a loved one’s suicide, what advice would you give to someone who has recently lost someone to suicide?

  • I would simply apply everything that I mentioned above.
  • Honor the REALITY of the situation.
  • Think about THEM and their pain and NOT YOURSELF.
  • REALIZE they are no longer in pain.
  • Keep a sense of humor.
  • HONOR THEIR LIVES – NOT THEIR DEATH!
  • Do something to honor your loved one. This will help you to feel better about this situation and have some closure.

What type of resources do you feel survivor’s of suicide need the most?

DEFINITELY need to be with people; not solely reading about how to deal, or on the internet. I believe that we all need that interaction with others who understand it, in order to truly heal properly. Join support groups so you know you’re not alone in your experiences.

Annie, thank you for taking time to share your thoughts and feelings with us here. The path of healing never ends but when we walk together and find ways to laugh together and get back into the Giggle! You are fabulous and amazing. Giggle On!

More Info

If you recently lost a loved one to suicide, please accept my most sincere condolences. You may feel lost, scared, depressed and confused, but please know…YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Help is available for you.

For Grief and Survivor Resources, please visit our Resources page and scroll to the bottom.

With love,

Christa

Participate in the Survivor Q & A Series

For more posts in the Survivor Series, click the links below. If you would like to be a part of this series, please answer the 5 questions and send a photo of yourself with your loved one. Send your email to christa at giggle on dot com.

Related posts:

Survivor Q & A: Dempsey Rice

Survivor Q & A: Jayla Boire

Survivor Q & A: Kelli Karlton

Survivor Q & A: Laura Velez

Survivor Q & A: Erica Volkman

Survivor Q & A: Gretchen Kubacky

25 Tips for Survivor’s of Suicide

Suicide Survivor’s Guilt

When a loss becomes a gain

Beer, Bong Hits and Candy Bars

How to Help Suicidal People

5 Quick Ways to Get Your Giggle On!

Comments

  1. It’s sincerely my pleasure to share my experiences with everyone, Christa!
    Thanks very much for posting.
    Keep your giggle on, everyone! There IS light at the end of this tunnel!
    Throwing e-hugs out to all!!!
    YOU ROCK!!!

  2. Good post and interview with Annie. For sure, it becomes “people needing people”.

    And as Alvarez notes in his book on suicide called, “The Savage God”, the action may make no sense to the survivors but to the person committing the act it meant eminent sense.

    Be well…C

    • Thanks for the feedback Annie, Carry and Isabella! And yes Carry, people DO need people (Do I sound like Barbra Steisand now?). I hope to have a host of Q&A sessions with more survivor’s in the coming weeks…and…I’ll let ya’ll in on a little secret. I wrote an E-book today. It just flowed out of me. If I weren’t so exhausted, I’d keep writing.

      Giggle On my peeps, giggle on!

  3. My brother O’D, & I wish I had a support group to be with, in person & not online. Blast it that I live in BFE!!! Instead, for the first few months after *it’s been 1 year, 2 months & 26 days*, & even sometimes now, I end up thinking twisted thoughts instead. Like I was always good at understanding my brother, I try really hard to understand people in general, & when I had the chance to help my uncle. . . He fought in Vietnam on the frontlines, 3 tours, we read “All Quiet On The Western Front” in 2003 in my Comm 101 class, I actually ate, slept, breathed & lived that book, in Braille, on tape & watched the movie. I even started having nightmares about being in the war myself, but it was worth it to put myself through it when I got the paper back & gave the print copy to my uncle. Well this time, I started thinking I had to do the drugs my brother did so I could be where he was & think his thoughts. I’ve pushed through alot of that, but as I said, those thoughts still come up sometimes & the only way I’ve had thus far to combat them is to push through them. So a live, in person group, would definitely be more helpful then carrying this crap on my own day to day, moment to moment.

  4. @Michelle – I am sorry to hear about your brother. Do you feel his OD was intentional?

    We live in a world where love and support is plentiful. I agree, it sounds as if an in-person support group may benefit you.

    Where is BFE?

  5. It wasn’t intentional, but I’ve still had noone to talk with. I was using shorthand for butt fuck Egypt. Lol! I actually live in montrose, mi, which is in my Pink Posse profile, but the place is so small there’s a McDonald’s a 50’s pizza *the name of the business*, a grocer, drug store & a subway, & that’s it. The nearest cities are Flint & Saginaw, but their both 20-30 minutes away. 2 of the largest cities, Lansing & Detroit are 2 hours North/South of me respectively.

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