#Postvention is Prevention
On April 22nd, 2015 the artist’s husband, Sgt. Brett Doolittle of the Kansas City, Kansas police department, lost all hope and ended his life. Lindsey joined the support group SASS (Suicide Awareness Survivor Support) who helped show her that she wasn’t alone, to not be ashamed, and it wasn’t her fault. During group sessions, she drew other loss survivors, capturing the emotional repercussions their loved one’s suicide unknowingly left behind. Never intending to place her artworks on display, she decided it was time for the public to see the gauntlet of grief that suicide creates, which is unlike any other death. Loss survivors are conflicted with the thought that the person who murdered their loved one, was their loved one. And where mourners are met with compassion and sympathy; suicide loss survivors are faced with blame, judgement, and exclusion. Despair, rage, sorrow, numbness, torture, longing, confusion, relief, or recalling happy memories are some of the expressions you will see on the blind-contour ink drawings. To keep everyone’s anonymity, all artworks are titled by who that group member lost to suicide.
Have you been affected by a suicide loss? Would you like to have your voice heard? The 2nd component of this exhibit is the growing wall of letters written by suicide loss survivors to the deceased. The more voices that are heard, the more viewers will see the pain and destruction a suicide unknowingly can leave behind. Our words can help show those who are feeling hopeless, who feel like they are running out of options, and/or feeling like others would be better off without them.. that they are suffering from a real medical emergency and need help.
Lastly, this is a growing, traveling exhibit that has a collection of local and global prevention resources for viewers to take. Suicide does not discriminate against: age, sex, religion, race, ethnicity, sexual preference, career choices, how much you love someone, or how much they love you. This exhibit is bigger than just one person’s story. The more awareness we can create, the more impactful and eye-opening it will become.
Suicide loss survivors never get over their loved one’s death, but we can get through it …together. If you are hurting after a suicide loss, please visit www.sass-mokan.com