We met through a suicide bereavement support group that ran for 20 years. We have different backgrounds and are at different stages of life and grief. A lot of listening, and therefore a lot of learning, came from time shared with others in the support group. Then the world was put on pause during 2020 due to the Covid pandemic, allowing time for reflection about what we have learnt and about shaping future direction.
Regular Discussion Group or Support Group meetings are an invaluable resource to those facing suicide bereavement, particularly in the early days when there needs to be an outlet for the agony and confusion of suicide grief. This style of support can by its nature have a very intense dynamic and for some people – due to their stage of grief, personal circumstances or simply their nature – may not be the most useful mechanism of support.
We decided to create Suicide Bereaved Community to support these additional needs. We offer a foundation for support through social connectivity in a relaxed environment. By providing a platform for our community to interact with each other and through organising semi-regular social events, members can participate as they feel the need arises.
Welcome to our community. We hope that this space will grow as our community grows; we encourage you to contribute – suggest a meetup, suggest an event, chat with others in the community. Together we can support each other.
Meet the Team
I am a former research scientist who now works in the commercial sector in business process analysis – it may not be neuroscience, but it still speaks to the geek in me who loves working with data and problem solving. I enjoy jazz and contemporary dancing, cooking up a storm in the kitchen with my partner and walks in the countryside. I was bereaved by suicide when my close friend Becki took her own life in 2013. I knew Becki from my ‘former’ life as a budding research scientist where we met during our PhD training. We became close and, although life soon saw us in different parts of the country, it was always like no time had passed whenever we were able to see each other. We’d go on holiday together, or out rambling, or spend hours on the phone talking. One time in particular, I think we chatted away on the phone for 8 hours! After Becki passed away, one thing that I found particularly helpful was being able to attend country walks with group of people also bereaved by suicide. For me it was really important to have some social contact but without any pressure to ‘talk’ because I knew everyone else there understood. I believe this provision is extremely important and that’s why I want to share this time with you.
I was born in Scotland and convent educated in England, following which I graduated with an MA (Hons) in Medieval History from St Andrews University. I was married and have 2 sons and a daughter. Sadly after 19 and a half years I was widowed by suicide. When I looked for support specific to this very different bereavement there was none to find, so I had to cope alone. After two and half years I attended a support event and left ‘isolation’ behind. A further suicide death a year later – an adult ex-pupil who had himself been orphaned by parental suicide in childhood, but never found support as I did – made me decide to work to develop a means whereby help would be available to others.
After providing suicide bereavement support for 20 years in over 200 Discussion Group meetings, 16 Retreat weekends and many conferences, it was time for a change. I had a growing realisation that there was nowhere for people long bereaved, who had no need for frequent meetings but still occasionally needed to be in contact with others who understood without the need for explanations. This has led me to working with three valued colleagues to develop this new provision. Together we can all help each other.
I was born and went to school in Kent. I obtained degrees in Mathematics and Computing at universities at opposite ends of the country. I moved to Gloucestershire in 1989 and have worked in IT in the health sector since 1994. I met Beth in 2005. She was later diagnosed with bipolar disorder and epilepsy and tragically succumbed to the depression inherent with these afflictions in late 2012. Personally, I value small group events with a positive focus in the company of people who understand suicide bereavement without the need to explain.