Resources for Loss

"I am a Survivor of a Suicide Loss" (poet unknown), contributed by Matthew Myslenski (2023)

I am a survivor of suicide loss, a 
Zebra among horses; distinct from
Those who have lost a loved one by
Other means. I feel separated from
The herd, corralled by such loss.

I do not grieve the same as you.
My challenges are very different. I
Cannot respond to things as you do,
And nothing anyone can do or say
Can remove this pain from my heart
Or the questions from my mind. My
Grieving process is complicated, it
Has added stripes.

I am a zebra among horses. I may
Appear to be like you, but inside
The differences are as marked as
The stripes that distinguish a zebra
From a horse. This knowledge that
I am different wears on me like a
Heavy, ill-fitting saddle.

I am a zebra among horses; I am
Like you, yet not like you.

This poem stuck out to me, because this is how many suicide survivors feel after their loss has occurred. Some can almost feel as if their loss is embarrassing and choose not to share their experience, which can make their grief even worse. I think that it is important for people to realize that this can happen, so that expressing grief about a suicide loss can be more socially accepted and the survivor can feel it is okay to grieve by sharing. This will help the bereaved learn to live after suffering such a terrible loss.


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