Letter from Our Founder

(Continued)

Thank you for your interest in the Alliance of Hope for Suicide Loss Survivors. Your support allows us to do the work we do every day. When I think of all the people who make our work possible, my eyes fill with tears. I’m so deeply touched by the generosity and kindness of our community.

 

If you are reading this letter and have lost someone to suicide, I want to extend my condolences. When a loved one dies by suicide, survivors are catapulted onto a challenging grief journey. Many describe it as the loneliest or darkest time of their life.

 

I understand that journey firsthand. My stepson Channing ended his life in 1995 – and although I was a counselor at the time, nothing prepared me for what we experienced. It was as if a grenade had exploded in our household – leaving everyone wounded and struggling to survive.

 

Alliance of Hope started as a small project from my kitchen table – when I realized that so many survivors lacked support. Back then, I wondered how we could take the best parts of an in-person support group and transfer them to an online environment. I am often credited as the “founder,” but the truth is that, almost from the beginning, countless people jumped in to help, and that is why we exist.

 

Today, our website is filled with survivor stories, information about the loss experience, and links to resources. Our community forum is a 24/7 support group for more than 21,000 suicide loss survivors. Our trained moderators ensure that each new survivor is welcomed and supported. Thousands of people from all over the English-speaking world log on for support every week. And what they hear again and again is: “I understand…”

 

Every day, more people who need help are hearing about the Alliance of Hope, which means more support is needed for survivors and the professionals who serve them. You enable us to hire staff and expand tech infrastructure. You fund the services we provide. You ensure that loss survivors continue to be referred to us from support groups, mental health professionals, funeral directors, and first responders.

 

Your support means we can continue to serve suicide loss survivors and be trusted guides for them on their journey. It also means we can continue to assist researchers, provide remote consultations, and offer much needed information, resources, and compassion.

 

The Alliance of Hope is a grassroots effort – created by survivors for survivors. I am so grateful for the team of people who work behind the scenes to ensure our services continue. I am indebted to our volunteers and those who have funded the work we are doing – with donations large and small. Your support has created the foundation for us to provide hope in the shattering aftermath of suicide loss.

 

There are still untold numbers of people who need our help. Join us. Spread the word, donate to the cause, or volunteer your time.

 

With deepest gratitude,

 

 

Ronnie Susan Walker MS, LCPC

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This poem inspired our name:

"I'll cry with you,"
she whispered
"until we run out of tears.
Even if it's forever.
We'll do it together."

There it was . . . a simple
promise of connection.

The loving alliance of
grief and hope that
blesses both our breaking
apart and our coming
together again.

- Molly Fumia

(from her book, Safe Passage)