Earlier this week I took a deep breath and wrote about my most private feelings about my Dad’s suicide here on my blog. Right before I approved the post I felt sick to my stomach. After I hit the publish button I wanted to curl up in my bed and go to sleep, but I didn’t. I moved from my blog to twitter and sent DMs to people I hoped would spread my story farther than I could. I planned this from the beginning. I knew these people could make a difference and I felt a strong connection to them and their work. These friends, some I have met and others I haven’t, responded with words of encouragement, retweets and comments.
I felt exhausted, but I cruised the twitter stream instead of running back to bed to avoid what I had done. I watched as comments and well-wishes poured in. I cried and felt honored. My story was read around the world, but more importantly, others shared their stories with me. I don’t know why, but I hadn’t expected this. For the first time since I mourned my father’s death twenty-one years ago, I felt a massive sense of belonging and kinship instead of isolation. Of course, my friends and family have comforted me through the years over the loss of my Dad, but this was different. Not many people I come in contact with personally have a similar background, but there are many survivors out there. We found each other through my blog post and understood each other. I could feel them nodding in agreement instead of looking at me with their eyes saying, “How in the world did you ever survive this?”
My sincere thanks to these wonderful, powerful people who made my story a priority and forwarded it to their followers: Sarah Browne, Jim Lin, Lolita Carrico, Kristy Campbell, Anne-Marie Nichols, MrLady, Michele Borba, Sue Scheff, NuggleMama, Nancy Prisby, JoyUnexpected and ACowboysWife. I couldn’t have exposed my story to as many people as you did. You propelled my words throughout the day and I am so grateful for your efforts and kindness. Thank you, also, to all who retweeted my post, commented on it, and created links on your own blogs and on facebook. All of you are the power of Social Media in action; the whole group is greater than the sum of its parts.
I keep saying I hope my post about my Dad can help others. It has already helped me. I am so grateful to everyone who reached out, shared their stories, and put my story out there for others to read. Together we create the change I hope for. Thank you.