Friday, March 27, 2009

The Survivors Need to Be Us!

The funeral I went to yesterday was for a friend’s 91 year old father, Mike. As we drove there I said, “ I’m sure it will be a small gathering.”

When we arrived the chapel was filled with people in their late 70’s+. I quipped it was more people than would be at mine. I was surprised, but understood as the eulogy evolved.

Mike was a survivor of the Holocaust as is his wife. They were part of a large social group of survivors who meet once a month. The woman who spoke broken, but eloquent English at the service said, “ We lost our families in the war so we created a group who could be our extended family.” I couldn’t help but think about people losing their families relative to people losing money. Back then these people who lost family were 10, 15, or 20 years old. There is an undeniable difference between the losses, though both definitely hurt.

The women who spoke at the service summed up the nature of and reason for a support group. This is precisely why we have created them and have encouraged other mental health professionals to do the same. Trauma responds to support. It helps us to know others walk in our shoes. We learn from others who are learning too. Survival is a skill worth knowing.

Reports vary as to why survivors of the Holocaust made it. Some will say it was pure luck. Others say they made it out from that hell because they never lost hope, maintained optimism, watched their backs and helped others do the same. They were able to see an end to their nightmare. We want you to do the same. Nothing fuels recovery like patience, perseverance, positivism—and watching your back.

God bless Mike, his loving family and his support group for all these years. They all deserve that much and more. So do we all! We are all survivors of something, even if it is just the challenges of life!

Bye For Now,

954 475 1371 x 301
561 361 1898 x301

see 3/17/09 blog to know our goals and pass it on


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