Jill’s Blog - February 2023

Jill’s Blog - February 2023 

Photo of Jill and Max - Watching a Canadian World Junior Hockey  Game ( circa 2006 ) 

You’ve suffered a traumatic loss by suicide:  Now what ?  

Please know that I am so very sorry you’re here. It never gets easier to meet  people, because they too, have lost a beloved one in this tragic way. I am  proud of you for looking into options of support. This is the first step in what  is, a life-long journey of learning to live with your grief and joy, hand in hand.  It takes a lot of courage to reach out to strangers in your time of great need. I  understand this. I remember after the first couple of pain-filled months had  passed after loosing my son, Max by suicide, and standing outside of the  room where a group of survivors were meeting once per month. I must have  looked at the sign and the word “suicide” on that sign for a full ten minutes  before I pushed that door open. I felt as if all the blood in my body had  somehow risen into my face, and head, and heated up about 50 degrees. I  was so angry….this was now my life. I belonged nowhere in the world,  except in a room full of strangers. How would I possibly be able to listen to  their losses, when I was barely ( BARELY …… ) hanging on ??? I was at my  ultimate limit the moment I realized my son had not survived that most  terrible of nights, and now I was supposed to connect with other survivors for  support ?? What exactly was my counsellor trying to suggest with this  madness ?? 

I walked through the doors of that first meeting; my head was down, and I  peeked up just enough to see a table of refreshments. “ I will make a cup of  tea. That’s a normal thing to do. If they see me making the tea, maybe they  won’t see the depth of pain I am in.” I took a place around the table, and  looked down at the flat surface directly in front of me. I was a few minutes  early, and people were still gathering. I went alone; my husband was  convinced that this would be step backwards. I began to notice people  casually chatting together, with ease……  

I noticed a woman, maybe twenty-ish years older than myself. Her hair was  neatly done, she was wearing some pretty make-up and she had a blouse on  that had a cheerful floral pattern. How was she doing this ? She wasn’t  gasping for breath as she spoke, and she was smiling with friendliness. She  looked like this was just a regular Tuesday night, and not at all like the  gapping chasm of hell on earth that was my Tuesday; my everyday ! The  meeting began, and I learned she had lost her 21 year old son by suicide, 15  years prior to that meeting. She was one of the facilitators. I met a sister  survivor; she had lost her sister 7 years ago, and was also now one of the  group leaders. I was hopeful to connect with another mother, and a sister  survivor, because I need to ask some questions on how best to support my  two surviving children. I don’t remember much of what was said, or shared  during those two hours. I do remember the feeling though. I felt my very first  faint, spark of a very fraction of hope. I was not alone in this loss, and if they  have found a way to survive, then maybe, so too, could I.  

Fast forward to the launch of our wonderful new community of hope and  healing. I am indescribably grateful for all the people I have met along my  own journey of healing ! I continue to learn from, and collaborate with,  some of the world’s leading experts in the suicide grief and loss space, so that  I can be that beginning spark of hope for my fellow survivors. I am sorry that  you are here, and I wish we were meeting for any other reason in the entire  world. I am honoured to walk beside you in your time of great need. 


We are always working hard behind the scenes to ensure we are offering a  variety of branches of support for our fellow survivors ! First up this month is  the launch of this website ! Thank you, Krista Nakonechny of “My Creative  Life” for your time, expert advice and guidance, your flexibility working  around my busy schedule, and mostly for the on-going support ! Myself and  the team are thrilled with your vision !!  

Please do register to become a member of our community, and receive all the  updates on current support options and upcoming events !  

We have three branches of “Healing Together” happening this month:  

Healing Together is our drop-in style support option, which is lead by our  trained facilitators through the lens of narrative therapy.  

HEALING TOGETHER - All types of survivors of a traumatic loss by suicide.  AGES 18 +  

Thursday, February 2  

7 PM - CST  

HEALING TOGETHER - Youth and Teen Group  

AGES 11-18 years  

Sunday, February 19  

10:30 AM - CST  

MEN’S ONLY GROUP - A group that is designed by men, and facilitated by  men, to share the unique experience of male grief. 

AGES 18 +  

Tuesday, February 21  

7 PM - CST  

We have on-going support options available as well to scheduled  programming. You can contact us to request a one-on-one mentorship  session, or have a crisis counselling session at any time.  

We are are also working on our Suicide Prevention Project designed for High  School Students, teachers and support staff, this month. We will be  announcing soon how you can honour your loved one in this historical  project, on our website and all social media outlets !  

Anything donated in the month of February will be going directly to fund our  on-going branches of support and “Gone Away Ones”. Click on that link to  learn more about this project, and how to bring it to a school near you !  

I few more personal THANK-YOU’S I would like extend are to:  Payton Mackintosh - you will find the logo for Payton’s photography business,  PM-PHOTOGRAPHY, on our website, and I highly recommend her for  capturing all your special moments with her creative talents ! Payton is a  student at The University of Saskatchewan, and don’t let her youthfulness be a  deterrent to booking her ! When I hear that iconic song by Alicia Keys, I  think of Payton ! She is a “GIRL ON FIRE”, and you will love her work as  much as our team does !  

THANK YOU, to another local young person-legend, Elizabeth McGrath !  Elizabeth is also a student at the University of Saskatchewan, and agreed to  be our summer student, with the important task of writing grant funding 

applications. Elizabeth was successful in her very first grants, and has  secured critical funding for our suicide prevention project designed for High  School Students, their teachers and support staff, “ Gone Away Ones”.  Elizabeth’s professionalism, business know-how, and impactful, emotional  writing skills far surpass any expectations we held ! She dreams big, and she  goes for it; and what a result !! Well done, Ellie - we couldn’t be more  grateful, or proud you’ve lent your time and talents to our organization !  

THANK YOU, Darren Anderson and the entire LOVE MY MIND team ! The  connections you are making for mental health initiatives are making a huge  impact, and myself, Anjeanette and our team couldn’t be more grateful for  your on-going support ! We can’t wait to see what 2023 will bring, with our  combined visions, and efforts to help support our fellow survivors, and our  new work in the arena of suicide prevention !  

THANK YOU, Eric Anderson for helping spread the word on Healing to The  Max, Inc. by featuring myself on your podcast, YXE UNDERGROUND. We  are so grateful for the connections to helped to make, which in turn, helped  

us spread the hope and healing father and wider ! I have been keeping a  journal of creative adjectives, for when next we connect on future episodes:  Beautiful:  

Admirable, Alluring, Angelic, Appealing, Attractive, Beauteous, Bewitching,  Charming, Classy, Cute, Dazzling, Delightful, Devine …….. ;)  

I have many other thank you’s to extend, but I will keep them for future Blog  Posts to share around the gratitude in the coming months of 2023 ! 

I will be taking a small break at the very end of February to connect with  Brian, and practice some self-care prior to the anniversary of Max’s passing at  the beginning of March. One of our team is always standing by, 365 days a  year, to help lend support ! I will be available to connect until February 28th,  and will return on March 9th. I will share a photo or two from my break in  the blog for March. It will either be a scene from a tropical paradise, or a  winter wonderland ! Air travel in the part of Canada I live in is always a  delightful surprise ! Weather can be extreme ( imagine having to wear  googles so that your eye balls don’t freeze, kind of extreme ), and that is  where we live !  

Welcome to this compassionate community. I hate it for you, but you won’t  be alone, as you navigate your own journey’s of hope and healing.  

Sending much care,  


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