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On Christmas Eve 2006 my family’s lives were changed dramatically by the suicide of our 24 year old son who had been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder.  As remaining close family members coped with the traumatic loss in their own personal ways, I felt alone, isolated and suicidal in the midst of intense grief.  Flashbacks of that night, and unanswered questions that flooded my mind, kept me awake for hours each night for many months.  It was only when I was introduced to a Suicide Survivors’ Support Group that I felt my emotional roller coaster was understood and that I was not alone in my helplessness and despair.  Joy

When I had the call from a paramedic to say that my sister had died, it was totally out of the blue.  The shock, disbelief and bewilderment were overwhelming.  However, when I learnt that it had been by suicide I felt that my world had collapsed.  How could she have taken her own life?  She was my sister, my friend and confidante, and we had such fun together – she was planning to visit me the following week.  Why had I not seen any possible signs?  The questions are relentless and all-consuming.  Talking to others and expressing my feelings freely, with others who have been similarly bereaved, has helped me to come to terms with it, adjust to life without my sister and feel less isolated.      Kathryn