No matter how hard you wish, your loved one is not coming back.

Crossing That Bridge Book
No matter how hard you wish, your loved one is not coming back. Being part of a family that has suffered loss from a family member completing suicide, Christine understands that the holes will remain empty until you are reunited one day. She learned three lessons from her family’s own journey that helped them cope with the gaping hole left by the death of a loved one. The acronym created by these lessons—GAP—will help you to fill in your own gap created by suicide, and will empower you to cross your own bridge:

G—Gentle: Be gentle with yourself; it’s okay to express the range of emotions that often will hit at random moments. Some days will be harder than others, and that’s okay. Do not be so tough on yourself that you become bitter. Accept the support of counseling, and don’t be afraid of involving yourself with groups and people going through the same struggles you are. Allow people into your life; they want to help soften the weight of grief. There is no reason or need to get through this by yourself. Being gentle provides a powerful benefit by letting the love of others flow to you and through you so that you can mend. Be patient; this is not a quick fix. It’s a day-by-day and step-by-step process.

A—Adaptable:  Be adaptable. There may be people, places, smells, or things that you are no longer comfortable being around, and again, that’s okay. Try new ways of rerouting those reminders for awhile, or maybe even forever—a different route to work, new holiday traditions, new frequented restaurants, fresh friendships, and so on. Adapting to change is a normal part of life, so don’t feel guilty if you need to alter or amend what you used to do. In order to promote healing, our family has kept some traditions that are dear to each child, yet we also added new ones to help move us ahead. As a result, some things just changed naturally and some things didn’t change at all. Make changes that help bring you peace, and remember that changes don’t have to be permanent.

P—Purposeful: Be intentional about being purposeful. In other words, the reasons behind what you do never really go away; they remain inside you. Let that be your fuel for seeking the clarity you need to funnel something positive in your life. It can also be an avenue of honoring the reason why you’re pursuing purpose—and could quite possibly become a gift for others. Christine and David experienced this when they received their gift of purpose to help draw back the curtain on suicide, making them want to help others. Being intentional allows for healthy energy to flow through you and be converted to purpose. For Christine and David, that meant being purposeful about creating the best message they could about suicide awareness and prevention and placing it on the biggest platform possible – a movie screen.

If you or someone you know needs hope and help,

please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:

1-800-273-8255 now!