Welcome

"There are always two parties to a death; 
the person who dies and the survivors who are bereaved." ~ Arnold Toynbee


We are a group of survivors who have all lost loved ones to suicide.  We are spouses, siblings, parents, children, partners, friends, family, coworkers, etc...who have lost someone to suicide.  We range from people who have lost a loved one in the past month, to people who have lost a loved one many years ago.  The grief of losing a loved one to suicide is an intense feeling that is often hard to describe to someone that has not survived a suicide.  No one should have to experience the death of a loved one to suicide, but we have.  You are not alone.
 
Sadly, suicide and suicide attempts are far more common then most people know.  People of all walks of life and all ages die from suicide daily.  Most people have never thought about suicide and the impact on those left to survive after a loved one dies by suicide.  According to the latest statistics from the Center for Disease Control : 
  • 39,518 people died by suicide in 2011 in the US - an average of 108 each day.
  • Every 13 minutes, someone in the US dies by suicide.
  • 689 people died by suicide in 2011 in NJ - an average of 2 each day
  • Over 483,700 people with self-inflicted injuries were treated in U.S. emergency departments in 2012. But we know that many suicide attempts go unreported or untreated, and surveys suggest that at least one million people in the U.S. each year engage in intentionally inflicted self-harm. 
  • While males are 4 times more likely than females to die by suicide, females attempt suicide 3 times as often as males.
  • Suicide is the third leading cause of death among persons aged 15-24 years, the second among persons aged 25-34 years, the fourth among person aged 35-54 years, and the eighth among person 55-64 years.
  • According to the World Health Organization over 800,000 people die by suicide each year worldwide, one every 40 seconds.
Independent of the larger statistics, the only statistic that truly matters is that you have lost a loved one to suicide.  Many of us never thought that someone close to us would die by suicide, but unfortunately they did.  You are not alone.

Who is a “Survivor of Suicide Loss”?

To quote the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention: "We use this expression to refer to the family and friends left behind after someone dies by suicide. Survivors are the ones left to pick up the broken pieces and find a way to move forward through grief and emptiness. Survivors are some of the strongest people we know. If you have survived a suicide loss, we are here to help.

If you’ve lost someone to suicide, you may feel . . . 

. . . alone, as though no one understands what you’re going through. 

. . . shocked, even if you knew your loved one was at risk. You may find yourself replaying their last days over and over, searching for clues.

. . . responsible, wondering whether there was something you missed, or something you could have said or done, or wished you hadn’t said or done.

. . . angry, at whoever you believe is to blame: the doctor, therapist, spouse, boss, or principal, for example.

. . . abandoned by the person who died.

. . . ashamed and worried about whether to tell people the truth, for fear of being judged.

. . . guilty for laughing, having fun, or beginning to enjoy life again.

. . . relieved.

Don’t worry. It is normal to have some, all, or none of these feelings as you cope with suicide loss."

 


The Suicide Support Group meeting at the Grace Episcopal Church has been continuously running for 20+ years and new members are always joining us.   The group is continuously changing based on survivors needs, we can never know who will join us at a meeting.  The mix of people who attend varies from meeting to meeting, we generally welcome many new survivors at most meetings.  The meetings are open to all survivors to attend and there are no fees.  Because of our central location, most people who attend come from Morris, Somerset, Sussex, and Warren counties, but all are welcome.  There are numerous other Suicide Support Groups across NJ for people who do not live near Madison, NJ.
 
The meetings are nonsectarian and the Grace Episcopal Church has graciously allowed us to use their facilities for many years.

"It can be so powerful to connect with other survivors. And such
a relief to be able to talk openly about suicide with people who
really understand."  ~ AFSP.ORG
 
We gather together to share our thoughts and experiences in a safe supportive environment with others who also have suffered a similar loss of a loved one.  The group is a peer led meeting  and there are no professional psychologists or psychiatrists in the group.  The meeting is held in a private comfortable meeting room and typically 4-10 people attend each meeting.  Participants must be at least 18 years of age to attend. 

The meetings begin with a brief introduction followed by an open floor for people to discuss how they are coping with the loss of their loved one.  You are free to sit quietly and listen, or feel free to share.  You do not have to speak, but you will have the opportunity. No one is forced to talk about his or her loss.  Many people come believing they will not speak, but often do open up and share.  You are in a small group of people who understand your grief.  The hardest part for most new survivors is just building the strength to come to the first meeting. Occasionally a new person will bring a friend to support them for the first meeting.  The meetings are a safe place to share and learn from other people that have had a similar loss due to suicide.

We also have numerous printouts and selected articles available for you to take home and read or share with others.  Generally the 90 minute meeting goes by very fast for most people and they leave with many new ideas and energy to not only survive the loss of a loved one to suicide, but truly how to go beyond surviving, and how to  thrive as well.  

It is recommended that you try and attend the meeting three times before you decide if it is helpful for you. This is true of most self help groups.  Often, the first meeting brings a lot of emotions to the surface that have not been spoken about. Attending three meetings gives you time enough to allow yourself to better understand your emotions and to see that in sharing there is healing. By attending three meetings you will also be able to observe the different dynamics of the group as different members attend and share.  If this is not the right grief or suicide support group for you, there are many others in the Tristate area you may try.  You are not alone.
 
The meetings are open to all suicide loss survivors.  You are not required to preregister, but we appreciate if you drop us an email at sosmadisonnj@gmail.com   before you plan to attend, just in case the meeting is canceled due to weather or other cause.
 
 
The Meetings are held: 
2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month from 7:30 - 9:00 PM at
Grace Episcopal Church
In the Church Library  
4 Madison Ave
Madison, NJ 07940
The church is 3.4 miles east of Morristown Medical Center on the same road, Madison Avenue (Route 124).  It is located just on the right before you enter downtown Madison.  Park in the main church lot and enter through the double doors  into the annex lobby.  There are signs pointing to the meeting room.

If you have any questions about the meeting please fee free to contact: Jack Klingert, sosmadisonnj@gmail.com (908) 605-0325  

Survivors of Suicide Support Group Meetings - Madison, NJ

2013 International Survivors of Suicide Day

 
 
 
If you are in crisis, call 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)
 the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is there to help!
If you prefer, they have a confidential  online chat service.  Click Here!
    If you are in crisis, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) National Suicide Prevention Lifeline