Insights From a Fortune Cookie

Survivors of Suicide Loss Support Group - Madison, NJ

Posted: Mar 27, 2019

Insights From A Fortune Cookie

I recently got a fortune cookie with an interesting fortune:

"If you don't think about the future, you can't have one."

It got me thinking about how so many suicide loss survivors get stuck in the past with their thoughts going back over and over again the events and actions that occurred prior to their loved one's suicide. It is so easy to get caught in an endless loop of the tormenting questions and non-stop "Should Of", "Could Of" and "Would Of" scenarios that play out in our heads. The past is a painful place that is filled with mixed memories of the good times and the bad times. Sadly we cannot change the outcome of that tragic event. As much as we might like to, you can not use an eraser and rewrite the past. Only you will know when you will stop asking those questions and when you will stop replaying those scenarios. Keep asking the questions until you stop getting new answers. You will move from the past, it just takes time and effort.

One step in the healing process is when you move into the present. I am not just talking about dealing with the current day to day chores, but actually being present in your life and the lives of those around you. It often takes a while before you can start to focus on yourselves and not on the tragedy that happened to your loved one and you. Starting to care about what is going on around you, starting to make an effort to go back and express your love for others, starting to find your interests and be active again, starting to not be afraid of your future. It is easy to go through the routines and fake it until you make it, but eventually you need to catch back up with you life and start to engage and not hide from your new life. The present is here and waiting for you, just embrace it.

The loss of a loved one to suicide is a fork in the road, it is not the end of the road. Where the new road goes and the what your new normal will be is up to you. Your choices and your actions will take you to new places. You will never forgot the one you loved, but you do need to find where you want to go in your life. The future is out there waiting for you and good memories of your loved one will come along with you on your journey.

The future was a scary topic for me when we lost our son. I truly believed that we had no future, that our lives had ended when he died. Of course, looking back I realize it was the grief talking. Grief had put blinders on my eyes and my heart. I thought i had very little to look forward to, and now I know I was wrong. The future can sneak up on you or you can embrace it. You can choose to go on living your life with a new deeper appreciation of life and love. The future will be there when you start to think about it.