HoW We Survive

Welcome to How We Survive, an online resource for survivors of suicide.  


A community for survivors of suicide.



Our journal of survival.


Julie Varley

After I lost my son, Chris, I was desperate for information on losing children to suicide, signs, how can this happen. How come I wasnt smarter or intuitive to see this coming? I read every book I could get my hands on. I went to counseling and then waited for the group session that is put on by the local Canadian Mental Health Association.

At the end of the sessions, I gave my card to one of the other mothers and suggested she might like to join the Squash Club where I go. Its a great place to be social and to meet people. We kept in touch.

About a year after our boys had died, we got together and decided to go see a movie that was called The Rabbit Hole. It starred Nicole Kidman and she, in the movie, loses her son as he runs out in front of a car. The reason to see this movie is that the numbness had worn off, we were left with harsh reality that our children were not coming back. We didnt feel we fit in with our friends and family. No one was asking us about how we were feeling anymore, we didnt blame them.. they cared, but people move on and dont know what to say. We needed this movie to be reference material for those that are closest to us.

We left the movie deflated, the characters dealt with their grief in a manner we werent used to. At Nancys place we sat down to discuss the film over a glass of wine. We had great, candid conversation about what we were feeling. These were emotions that could not be shared with everyone. At that moment it was clear that we had just created what was needed. Our open, candid, conversation was needed in a video format.

The CMHA was contacted and they were very interested in our project. We were surprised that something like this had not been created already. We were so fortunate to be put in touch with a wonderful person from the CMHA that helped us lay out our vision.

What was interesting was trying to find the right Director for such a serious topic. We interviewed many, we did not want this to be a documentary. We wanted it to be visual and creative. I was so happy to see the work from Edward Platero. Edward was contacted right away and delved his soul into this project.

The video has been shown at various events, it was created to be used as an educational tool for groups, professionals and simply, people that were dealing with losing a loved one to suicide. It has been two years since the launch and collectively we decided we wanted to update the video. We really want to show our growth and how far we have come in the last two years. So the video on this website has been revised from the original. We hope that it will give some comfort and HOPE that there will be a brighter day and your life will get easier.  

- Julie Varley

Our second video on the grieving process following the Loss of an adult child to suicide has launched. I watch this video with a protective detachment. I ask myself why don’t I shed more tears?

We don’t know how many people will show up for this Screening. But I will let you know if this is a success or not. Who wants to hear about grieving this loss unless you have Been affected personally as well.

Dialogue is happening more and more frequently around The topic of suicide. I want to make it easier to talk about. Sharing with another who has been through This tragedy is a comfort.

I am grateful for my friend Julie. Let’s face it no one knows what to say Or how to comfort. I am hoping together

We can change that. 


Nancy Hiron

If you have a story to share, or simply need to reach out to talk to someone, we are here to listen to you. Please fill out the confidential contact form and we will get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you for visiting our site, we hope it was helpful. If you have lost a loved one to suicide, we are so very sorry for your loss.