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RECLAIMING LIFE: Faith, Hope, and Suicide Loss
"A beautiful film on a most anguishing subject . . . courageous, raw, and unflinchingly honest."
Aaron Kheriaty, MD Associate Professor of Psychiatry, UC Irvine School of Medicine
Each year more than one million people worldwide die by suicide, one person every 40 seconds. Research shows that at least 6 people suffer intimate trauma at each death - family members, friends, neighbors, and coworkers are left grieving, and struggling to understand.
A new film provides powerful, first-hand testimonies and theological insights on the devastating experience of losing a loved one to suicide. Seeking to erase the stigma surrounding this epidemic while offering hope and healing to survivors, this program features Ronald Rolheiser, author of The Holy Longing, Kay Warren, co-founder of Saddleback Church, and Marjorie Antus, author of My Daughter, Her Suicide, and God.
Kay Warren and Marjorie Antus candidly describe their journeys after the deaths of their children, from their moments of deepest anguish to eventual, hard-won peace. They reveal their children’s struggles with mental illness as well as the goodness and beauty of their lives.
Fr. Ronald Rolheiser, President of the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, provides pastoral and theological insights from his years of experience writing on suicide and serving families who have experienced this agonizing, and often misunderstood, loss.
While all death is unsettling, research has long shown that suicide survivors experience a very distinct set of bereavement issues - bewilderment, overwhelming guilt, and rage - and for people of faith, a sense of darkness and a spiritual void. In addition, society still attaches a stigma to suicide death, causing many survivors to experience judgment and isolation. The loved one’s memory is often shrouded in secrecy and shame, rather than celebrated. Reclaiming Life aims to set the record straight, offering hope.