Have there been any special people; places or things that have helped re-shape a positive meaning to your life after your loved one’s suicide?

Who or what are they?

  • Ducks of all things! My daughter had a fondness for ducks in the local park. Otherwise elephants. She had a passion for elephants. Her beloved soft toy (it was in somewhat tattered existence after 27 years) was theoretically an elephant. So I have now acquired a collection of elephants that honour this. But no ducks – or cats!

  • Sometimes when I was afraid to go to sleep, I would go down and sit under a tree, the cool air of a Be’er Sheva evening was nice. I used to think and think, sometimes write, sometimes knit, until I felt I was ready to go to sleep.

  • Right beside my bed on a chest of drawers, I keep some things that remind me of my son: his sunglasses, two hats, and two photos. One photo was taken three weeks before he died. He is wearing his usual white clothes, whereas his friends mostly wore black. This photo reminds me of what he was known for amongst his friends, and that he wore what he wanted to wear rather than going along with others. We are kind of similar in that way. The second photo is of him as a twelve-year-old sitting in a Ferrari. He was billeting with a family in another city when playing in a soccer carnival, and he was driven to the soccer matches in their Ferrari. This photo reminds me of one of his happiest times when he had the chance to do something very special and different from everyone else.

Could you tell a story about these places, people or things that evokes how meaningful they are for your life?

  • The summer after John died I went to stay with my sister for several days. John’s girlfriend and daughter came over, as well as his brother and his family. They pulled out the collage they had worked on together and it made me feel so reconnected to his life. I used to babysit for John when he was about 1-5 years old, so watching his daughter point to pictures of her daddy and look so loved and happy brought me back to the time when I was developing a relationship with him. That conversation and the whole day just talking with them and playing with the kids stays with me as the cornerstone of my memories of him and his life.

  • My son and daughter have both become very close in their relationship with each other, and I sense a great deal of caring for each other. They have forged independent and buoyant lives for themselves, but still remain very much ‘family-oriented’ persons. I draw on their love of life and the sharing and caring that they show to family and friends.