Content warning: Child loss and suicide This episode is one of the most tender and important I’ve ever shared on this show, and I am just so deeply grateful to Amy Ortloff for having this conversation with me and letting me make it public.
In 2017, Amy Ortloff
lost her middle child Ryan to suicide. Ryan was just 17 years old. Less than a week after his death, Amy took to her personal Facebook page and starting sharing every single day. She began by sharing stories about Ryan, family memories and examples of the kind of kid he was. She didn't want her child to be forgotten.
As the weeks went by, deep in grief, Amy also started sharing her own experiences of this devastating time she was living through. She shared what she was learning in therapy, she set and shared her personal boundaries for interaction for those in her small town Oklahoma community.
Amy's sharing was raw and vulnerable. It was heartbreaking and powerful. I made a point to read her posts every day that first year after Ryan.
This episode is about the effects of that real-time sharing during the hardest time of her life, the positive and the negative. Amy was teaching us how to grieve with her, and it made an enormous impact on me long before I ever wrote a book about sharing stuff.
If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255
or text TALK to 741741.
Read Amy Ortloff's blog Keep Going
Follow Amy Ortloff on Facebook here
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by Laura Tremaine