Holly Bowerman, Registered Nurse and grief recovery expert, recently published an article on her blog, HollyBowerman.com, discussing the public’s need for more in depth education surrounding the misunderstanding and tragedy of suicide. The article, titled “Calling Suicide a Choice is a Simple Answer to a Complex Problem,” addresses the complexity of understanding suicide as Bowerman shares her personal experience having lost both her Mother and brother to suicide within ten years. —
Bowerman like Robin Williams has battled the demons of loneliness and abandonment and calls those times dark and ugly. Williams early words echo her sentiment.
"I used to think the worst thing in life is to end up all alone. It's not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people who make you feel all alone."
Bowerman empathizes with Robin Williams as well.
“When I read this, I thought to myself, ‘Now there is someone who knows what it’s like to live with an abandonment wound,” says Bowerman. “He described it perfectly. It’s feeling completely alone in a room full of people; not because you’re lonely, but because they don’t understand the pain that you’re in.”
Suicide rates are higher today among Baby Boomer men according to Julie Phillips, a Rutgers University sociology professor who researched the effect of unemployment and the Great Recession on Baby Boomer men. According to Phillips, male suicide rates traditionally rise in late adolescence and young adult years and then taper off, which has not been the case for this generation according to Phillips.
“The rise we’ve seen in suicide rates since 1999 among boomers while in their 40s and 50s is unusual,” Phillips said. “Boomer men are now 60 percent more likely to take their own lives than men their age who were born in the 1930s — or roughly men of their fathers’ generation.
Bowerman concurs and believes the study’s outcomes focused on a generation of men who experience higher divorce rates and are living alone is a valid concern in relation to suicide.
“Abandonment is an emotional trauma wound,” said Bowerman. “I call it the black hole of all the emotions, because it is a total loss of hope. I won’t go into all the years of introspection that it took for me to articulate that emotion, but that loss of hope over time often leads to the ultimate act of abandonment, which is self-abandonment, even to the point of checking out of life. ”
Bowerman takes a stand against the naiveté of those who have a carte blanche approach to making sense of suicide and providing errant, unfounded solutions such as Matt Walsh’s highly controversial post.
“As I said in response to Matt Walsh, his post offered no solution and it offered no healing or hope,” Bowerman said. “If there is anything anyone reading social media needs right now its hope. Hope that healing is possible. Hope that the world will come to understand emotional wounds. Hope that things can be learned in devastating circumstances.”
“When we instill a sense of hope we can create a place of healing and when we create healing, we allow people to be empowered and let their best selves shine, Bowerman said. “But it all starts with hope. It is my hope that as we approach such delicate topics in the future people will offer hope and healing. To anyone within my reach, I want you to know that there are people who understand and there are answers to the questions you are seeking. Don’t ever give up.”
The entire article can be found here: http://hollybowerman.com/
About Holly Bowerman:
Holly Bowerman R.N. specializes in geriatric nursing and hospice care, giving her a fresh perspective on the impact of losing a loved one and a deep passion for the gift of life. She infuses this radiant approach in her work with others by helping them find hope in healing, specifically as it relates to emotional trauma.
Having lost both her brother and mother to suicide, Bowerman utilizes personal lessons learned in addition to her medical background, to assist others in charting their own individual healing path. Her approach guides those she works with to feel supported with compassion, empowered with knowledge and the clarity and vision needed to create their own personal road to joy.
Bowerman is the popular author of the book “Say What You Need to Say: Speak your truth. Heal your life,” where you can find her essays of her own personal journey to healing.
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