Mother and Daughter explore life after suicide

By Sheri Falk - bio | email | Twitter

Hattiesburg, MS (WDAM) - The inability of some to cope with the pressure's of life, leads to approximately 34,000 deaths in the United States every year.

Depression is treatable and suicide is preventable, according to Licensed Counselor Mitzi Spears, but when it's to late to help and a loved one is gone, the survivors are left with questions that may never be answered.

"Grief from a completed suicide is very different than the grief from a death by cancer, or from an automobile accident."

Spears said, "the initial reaction is shock, then many times survivors turn the blame on themselves.

"The biggest question is why? It would be easy for me to tell a survivor, you are never going to be able to come up with a good answer, because I never came up with one,  you just have to search for that as long as you do."

Spears was 30 years old when her Mother completed suicide, she has since dedicated her career to helping other suicide survivors.

"The most important thing to know is that there is help, there is hope, you aren't alone, you are not the only one.

Those are the words she shared with her daughter Meredith Worley 18, who is also a suicide survivor.

"We were inseparable, it was me and her. If you saw Celeste you saw me,  if you saw me you saw Celeste."

Not only did Worley lose her Grandmother,  but her best friend completed suicide when they were 15.

"It was the worst day of my life and I will never forget it. I remember the only thing I wanted to do was come home to my mom."

That's because she had experienced the same type of despair. Meredith's Grandmother died the year before she was born, growing up she always knew how much pain her Mother felt, now she felt that same pain.

"She knew how I felt, what to do, how to react."

Both Mitzi and Meredith have used their grief to help others cope.

Spears leads a survivor support group in Hattiesburg which  is sponsored through the Shafer Center Crisis Intervention Agency. "What I have heard from survivors is, when they come in the for the first time it's like being home, finally they don't have to tell their story, finally they don't have to tell how they feel because everybody knows."

Meredith, a senior at Oak Grove High School is organizing this years 3 mile walk, "Out of the Darkness"  in honor of the people she has lost to suicide.

"I had one person ask me, what is a walk going to do to stop suicide? Worley said, "it might not stop it but it can let people know if you are thinking about it, you will see all of the people that grieve about it when it happens. It brings suicide survivors together to show that they are not alone."

The "Out of the Darkness" walk is Saturday Nov. 13,  at Long Leaf Trace. All of the proceeds will go to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

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