Lived Experience Project – Michèle’s Story

During May of 2021, Michèle’s Husband died by suicide. This has been a very tough journey and is still not over. When it initially happened, it felt surreal and felt as if it didn’t happen. A year later, she is still feeling this way.

The trauma has had a significant impact on her brain, body, and daily life. Michèle’s husband was a police officer who worked shift work and at the time of his death, he had been retired for 2 years. Even though he had been retired, she still thinks of his absence as him working since she was used to him being away for long periods of time. She says her mind and body are in denial because she can’t process what has happened, and she doesn’t want it to be real. Michèle has also been affected in other ways. She’s been off work, can’t focus, isn’t motivated, and her short-term memory has been affected as well.

Her personal advice is to surround yourself with loved ones and to be around non-judgmental people who you can speak openly to. The only thing that has really helped as been talking about it. She sees two therapists a week which helps as well.

Michèle believes that there is a stigma around suicide and speaking about it. If her husband died by a heart attack, she would say her husband died by a heart attack. So why wouldn’t she openly say that her husband died by suicide?

This story sheds light on the affects that suicide has on loved ones, those being the initial affects and the long-term ones.

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Published by socialworksolutionscanada