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Ahead of World Suicide Prevention Day next week Lough Derg announces a response to support people who are living with suicide in their lives

04 Sep 2014

A minimum of 6 people will suffer intense grief following a suicide, more than 50 people will have strong emotions and a further 13 to 30 will experience moderate grief as a result of death by suicide’
Ahead of World Suicide Prevention Day next week Lough Derg announces a response to support people who are living with suicide in their lives:
Living with Suicide Retreat – ‘Seeking Strength, Finding Comfort’
on Wednesday 24th September 2014

Fr Cathal Deery, Spiritual Director of the Living with Suicide Retreat Day on Lough Derg, speaks about the true reality of the numbers of people impacted by suicide: “It is estimated that around 1,000 people die by suicide in the island of Ireland every year – a reality that casts a shadow on the lives of hundreds more; families, extended families, personal and professional networks, whole communities, the extent of which can reach tens of thousands of people.”

Fr Cathal, also a member of the Lough Derg team, continued: “During this year’s pilgrimage season we continued to encounter many pilgrims who shared their witness to the heartache of living with suicide in their lives. We wanted to do something once again to support those people who have been affected by suicide, either through personal loss or with suicidal ideation, or for those ministering to the suicide bereaved or working in support services. The Living with Suicide Day Retreat is not a conference in the secular sense of the word but rather an invitation to people to come to a safe place where they might find some sense of healing and peace in the midst of pain and struggle.”

Lough Derg is a sacred place known over the years for offering a welcome and an opportunity for healing and hope to thousands of pilgrims. Christy Kenneally is a guest speaker and comments ahead of the Living with Suicide Retreat on 24th September: “I came to Lough Derg in 2013 for the first time and found it an oasis of calm and safety – no one is judged and everyone is welcome. Coming away for a few hours to Lough Derg from the everyday living with suicide gives us the distance to establish perspective and focus on what really matters. The retreat offers a degree of silence unlike any other where one can listen – listen to the interior voice. To unburden ourselves from the expectations of others and the expectations we burden ourselves with. We can come to be grounded in our reality, resilience and in our relationship with God. We can come to allow our spirits some breathing space and to gain sanctuary from ‘have to’, ‘must do’ constraints.

The Retreat on Lough Derg helps one to know that moving beyond coping is possible. Coping gives us a framework for existence but existence is not life. It takes a different kind of strength to transform our reality rather than just endure it. The essential strength to move on is within us. A day in a ‘quite place – a place apart’ gives us a chance to evaluate what or who will sustain us.”

Christy concludes: “Coming to the Island sanctuary for the first time last year touched and stilled me. The stillness and peacefulness to be found on Lough Derg can help us listen. Listening to the internal voice requires conscious effort. Listening to the voices of those who have gone before us requires courage; courage to listen without argument or judgement. Time on the Island allows one the space to experience the unseen dimension of what is happening inside.”

The Living with Suicide Day Retreat offers time for Reflection through the talks as well as time to spend on the holy Island. Everyone is welcome. There will be a closing session of prayerful reflection embracing the love of God. Refreshments throughout the day and a light lunch. Admission €40/£35. Timings: 10.00am – 4.00pm; Wednesday 24th September.

For further information on this retreat please contact Sharon or Maureen in the Lough Derg office on 071 9861518 (from Northern Ireland 028 68632391)

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