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Been In “The Black Hole” And Back…So I Know! by Jean Hroncich

On February 22, 2012, I awoke to a beautiful winter day in North Carolina. It was Ash Wednesday. My husband and I went to Mass. I came home in the best of moods and was on my computer when I received a phone call that would change my life forever. At 5:40 AM that morning, a jogger found my sister dead under a tree in a cemetery from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to her head. Yes, suicide…my only sibling. How do you deal with this? How can this happen in my family? Where did I go wrong? Was there something that I could have done? All of these questions left me extremely hopeless and so depressed.

How did I deal with this? Not well at all. At first, I was functioning. About a month after her death, I took to my bed as a result of severe depression. I stopped eating. No, I did not want to live this way.

I hated myself and I also hated her, missed her and felt so darn confused and lonely. I prayed and prayed. Nothing worked. All of the support from friends, family, letters, spiritual books and flowers…nothing helped.

This lasted for a month. One particular Sunday we were at Mass. In the middle of the service, I suddenly felt as though “something” was lifted from my heart…a kind of “heaviness” disappeared. From that moment on, I started to feel a little better.

What got me through this “bad time” (and a year later) continues to get me through? Prayers, hope, and the tremendous love of life i.e. to go on, even though my heart is torn in two. Yes; we can all go on but it is a very, very steep “emotional” hill to climb. However, if you just “put one foot in front of the other,” you will make it to the top!

Been in “the black hole” and back, so I know!

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