Survivor Services

"Providing Support to Families and Friends Following a Loss to Suicide"

 

L.O.S.S. (Local Outreach to Suicide Survivors) Team

An all volunteer first response program that provides support to people who have lost someone to suicide. This program is an active model of postvention made up of a team of trained survivors who go to the scenes of suicides to disseminate information about resources and be the installation of hope for the newly bereaved. If you have lost someone to suicide at anytime throughout your lifetime and need the help and support of people who have also endured a loss to suicide, please contact us at: (605) 348-6692 to have team members contact you and provide you with help and support.

 

Black Hills Area Survivors of Suicide Support Group

A monthly support group for those who have lost a family member, friend, or colleague to suicide. The group is facilitate by peer members of the L.O.S.S. Team, providing support on an ongoing basis. Survivors can attend the group whenever they need the support. Meetings are held on the 4th Saturday of every month from 10am - 12pm at the First Congregational UCC Church at 1200 Clark Street in Rapid City.

 

Recovering From Suicide Grief Support Group

An eight-week support group for those who have lost a family member, friend, or colleague to suicide. The group is facilitated by peer members of the L.O.S.S. Team and provides education, support, and other resources specific to suicide grief and loss.

 

Survivors of Suicide Day

Survivors of Suicide Day is a special day for those who have lost someone to suicide to come together to find hope and healing after a loss to suicide. Survivors gain strength from others through their grieving journey and through support. The program is held annually at First Congregatinal UCC Church at 1200 Clark Street in Rapid City.

 

Life Keeper Quilt

A service designed to support the development and display of of the lifekeeper quilt for the purpose of suicide awareness and to memoralize loved ones lost to suicide. Click here for additional information.

 

 

 

Surviving Suicide Loss: A Survivor’s Story

Surviving Suicide Loss: Survivor’s Stories are personal stories from people who have survived the loss of a loved one, family member, close friend, colleague and how they are finding their way to hope and healing from their grief.

 

Easter Morning 2008

My mother, sister, grandmother and some other friends and relatives were getting ready to go to a restaurant for Easter dinner. 

 

Mom got a call from my sister-in-law Brandi. My brother James was going to have Easter dinner himself with his wife and her parents.  However, my brother never arrived. Brandi and her parents got very worried and started searching for him. After driving around, they discovered my brother's car in a parking lot outside of a highway. Various personal effects were in the car, but my brother was nowhere to be found. Search and rescue attempted to search for James up and down the highway and into the woods and hills alongside the highway, but they were unable to locate him.

 

Over time, the police discovered James had serious money problems, debts, unhappiness in his marriage to Brandi, cutting himself off from close friends.  On top of all this was the spectre of depression, for which James has been treated off and on for a long time. We clung to the hope that James simply took off, wanting to avoid the problem.  That faint hope was crushed when his body was finally discovered a mile from where they were originally searching.   My brother apparently killed himself the day the car was abandoned. 

 

Photos at his memorial service were filled with his happy, smiling face, which belies the true pain he must have been feeling up until the pain ended for good. Hindsight vision is rarely 20/20 and there may have been signs that James was contemplating suicide, but no perfect clarity he would actually make such an attempt. The brother I had played with and fought with as a child, had long since moved away, both in distance and in emotion from his family.  I will forever be plagued with the belief that I could have done something.  Rationally, there was no guarantee that I could reach my brother, since neither his wife nor his best friend realized the cloud he was under.  Emotionally I wish I could have at least tried a little harder to communicate with James, despite knowing there might have been no guarantee that he would respond.  I will never know the answer for as long as I live.

 

With every death, life continues.  And so it does with the birth of James' grand-nephew, Kalo James. So a little bit of him lives on in our memories as well as in life itself, even if I would prefer the whole of him to a part of him.

Patti Martinson