The love that lives.
Journey of a suicide loss survivor.
By Yole Guzman, May 2021
The Suicide Loss Survivor is a primary school teacher residing in Singapore. CFL is grateful to have the opportunity to speak with her and learn about her survivor experience. She hopes that her story will be able to provide a glimmer of hope for anyone who may facing similar issues. At the same time, she would like to encourage anyone with a story to come forward to share it, as a tool for self -empowerment and community building.
I lost my 13-year-old son to suicide five years ago. He was everything a mother could ever wish for. He would make his bed faithfully every morning, do his best with his homework and try to finish the vegetables I made for him. He was always smiling, a joy to come home to.
But you see, I did not realize any of this until he was no more.
I remember blaming myself every second of the day. It was torturous. Every moment was a reminder of my weaknesses and my failure to protect my child. The day got longer, and the nights were the longest. I was consumed with remorse and guilt. What was I supposed to do? I was completely lost.
Then his best friend came to visit me, accompanied by his mother. I was reminded of all the times my child had fun with this friend of his, and I was grateful. He started sharing stories, happy ones, and sad ones. With this, I knew that my child had made a difference in his friend’s life, and I was glad.
I looked through our pictures and his belongings, and it was as painful as it was heart-warming. Once in a while, I still revisit his room to seek comfort and solace.
There came a point when I had to pull myself together, for the sake of the students I was teaching. It was a difficult process especially when they bear great resemblance to him. What helped was the love and warmth they gave me, whether they knew it or not. With the enthusiastic greetings daily to the cards on teacher’s day, as well as their love for learning, I knew there was still hope. There was still hope for me to make a positive impact on another child’s life, even if they may not be mine.
My colleagues were an additional beacon of support, helping in whatever ways they could. Checking in on me regularly made me feel immense love and I feel very fortunate to be able to grow closer to them through this ordeal.
It took me a while before I was able to share my story with strangers, and when I finally did, it was liberating. I knew I was not alone, and I still am not alone. Granted we have very different experiences, but what we share is the love we have for our loved ones. I know this love we have will not go to waste as long as we share them with one another. But most importantly, save some of that love for yourself as you guide yourself along in your healing process.
Remember you are not alone in this journey.
About the writer
Yole Guzman believes in the power of relationships. A name concocted from a stupid mistake, it has now become a name in which their friends find solace in. yole guzman hopes that every individual will be able to find the same support from friends and family around. yole guzman hopes you won’t give up. Keep fighting!