-September Newsletter-
The risk of love is loss, and the price of love is grief. But the pain of grief is only a shadow when compared with the pain of never risking love.

-Hillary Stanton Zunin

Welcome to September! We choose this photo for this month because September represents Autumn. Autumn is considered a season of change and transformation. Much like Autumn, we too change and transform in various ways with our pain, our grief, and ourselves. But even with change and transformation, beauty can still be appreciated.
Jan D'Atri
Melinda Vail
If you would like to donate an item valued at $100 or more, to be in our raffle, please contact patty@ericshouse.org.

-Thank You
A Message From Our Founder- Marianne Gouveia
Dear EricsHouse Community:

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, and September 6th marks the beginning of National Suicide Prevention Week – a week dedicated to informing and engaging our communities about recognizing the signs of suicide. If you have been reading our newsletters, you know that many of our EricsHouse members have lost someone they love - a friend, a spouse, a child - to suicide, as was the case with my son Eric.

Many organizations are dedicated to prevention and intervention. EricsHouse works with many of them to help promote awareness and education in our communities. Our team at EricsHouse works with those unfortunate people who are loss survivors – in what we call "postvention" – sudden losses, with a specialization in suicide and substance-related losses.

Can Suicide be Prevented?  I often wonder if my son's suicide could have been prevented or if it was just an "exit point" for him . . . a fatal, final choice. But the answer to that question is YES. There is HOPE for people struggling with a mental health issue, an addiction, or just a challenge or struggle that is hard to overcome. Suicide can be prevented by being diligently aware, openly discussing emotions and feelings, and becoming educated on the topic. I feel it is vital for every person to understand the signs. This article from HelpGuide.org (https://www.helpguide.org/articles/suicide-prevention/suicide-prevention.htm) provides useful information for all segments of the population from teens to older adults. Please share this link with family, friends, and especially anyone you know who might be struggling.

How can you help a friend who is impacted by suicide loss? There is much stigma around suicide. Survivors feel guilt and shame. For many friends of survivors, it conjures up fears that perhaps it might happen to them, or fear that they will say the wrong thing. Here are some things you can do to support your friend or family member.

1.  Educate yourself on suicide and the journey of the loss survivor and its surrounding stigma. Suicide is not selfish, and it is not contagious. This will help you better relate to the struggles the loss survivors face. 

2.  Be ready to "be with" or "sit" with your friend. Be comfortable with "white space". We often hear "there are no words," and that is true. There are no words that can describe the pain and sorrow of those left behind.

3.  Encourage your friend to seek help from grief specialists, counselors, and support groups. We find the best thing for us to do is to talk it out, write it out, and spend time in the company of those who understand your feeling.

4.  Encourage self-care – sleep and healthy eating are essential to give the body and brain the nutrients it needs to process grief.

5.  SPEAK THE NAME OF THEIR LOVED ONE. Don't be afraid to say their name. Your friend might not want to talk about him or her at that moment, and you should respect that. But more likely, your friend will want to sort through their feelings and emotions and reminisce about their loved one. We don't want our loved ones to be forgotten.

6. Love them – suicide is a symptom of a love deficit. It affects the survivors, too. Read a powerful reflection by Eric's stepfather Greg below.
My personal observations. I have observed both from my own experience, and from the people we work with, there is no more difficult loss than a suicide loss. It is the unthinkable, the unimaginable, and it is a loss that comes with a heavy burden of healing and recovery. It comes with complex emotions, chaos, desperation, and deep, deep grief as though you were lost in the wilderness with no hope of survival. But there is HOPE for us, and we learn to remember our loved ones not for how they died but for how they lived. There is hope for us as we learn to be in a relationship with them in a different way. There is hope for us as we speak out against the stigma and shame that comes with this loss. And there is hope for us as we build our community and share our journeys of faith, hope, and healing.

With Love,
Marianne Gouveia
Founder, EricsHouse Inc.
Suicide Prevention
Talk To Someone Now
If you’re thinking about suicide, or worried about a friend or loved one, or would like emotional support, the Lifeline network is available 24/7 across the United States.
CARE 2020
The Art of Recovery Expo
Make sure to watch the Care 2020 -The Art of Recovery Expo, on 09.24.20 at 6 PM (MT). EricsHouse Founder and Executive Director, Marianne Gouveia, will be part of the suicide, addiction, and trauma panel. 

National Recovery Month is an observance held each September to educate all Americans that substance use treatment and mental health services can enable those with mental and substance use disorders to live healthy and rewarding lives.
Virtual Grief Support Groups for both Men & Women
You don't have to grieve alone.
The EricsHouse Men’s Group is a group of men who meet biweekly virtually, on Thursday evenings from 7:00 pm- 8:30 pm.

We share our grief journeys, day-to-day struggles, and our stories. Mostly we talk, listen, and support each other. 

If you’d like more information please call Greg Eckerman at 480-734-3423, or by email at greg@ericshouse.org.
The EricsHouse Women's Group, will meet biweekly virtually, on Thursday evenings from 7:00 pm-8:30 pm.

If you are experiencing the sudden loss of someone you love especially to addiction or suicide, this group is designed to support your very unique needs. Throughout the session, you will talk with peers who are loss survivors who understand how difficult it is to navigate family and friends after experiencing a sudden, traumatic loss.

If you'd like more information about this group or would like to register for it, please email marisela@ericshouse.org.
Events for September
Special Fall Event!
Join evidential medium, Melinda Vail, on Friday, September 18, 2020, at 6:30 pm (PT), for a fun, enlightening, entertaining virtual evening as she provides insights to you from your loved ones! This intimate virtual setting has limited spots available as Melinda will share messages from the other side. Melinda’s mission is to use her gifts as a medium to bring families together on both sides of the veil.

Greg Eckerman
Co-Founder of Ericshouse &
Facilitator for the Men's Group

Greg can be reached at: greg@ericshouse.org
Half Right
Tough love, as I understood the concept, is about giving someone the consequences for their choices. The phrase "tough love" itself is believed to have originated with Bill Milliken's book of the same title in 1968. It has persisted since and always fits with my beliefs about accountability and human learning.  

Tough love was my go-to strategy with Eric, especially in the throes of his struggles with heroin addiction.

The problem as I see it – with crystal-clear hindsight, as always – is that Eric was well aware of the potential consequences. He was consumed with guilt and shame over his choices and his ability to control them. At his lowest, he felt he deserved those consequences. My tough love only confirmed and amplified his feelings of being unlovable.

As my father used to tell me when I would try to do a task quickly, “You’re trying to go fast, but you’re only about half-way there” (e.g.: half-fast).  My concept of Tough Love was only half-right for Eric, and, frankly, it was half-assed
One of the many things I learned from Eric is that – in spite of my own insecurities – the only effective way to support someone crushed by addiction or mired in self-destructive mindsets is to pour love on them. Give them all the love you have, even when you are angry with them. Beg, borrow, steal love.

It may help them. It may not. It will do wonders for you.

-Greg Eckerman
Grief Companioning
EricsHouse is looking for more Grief Companions.
If you are someone who would like to make a difference in someone's life, then reach out to Jean Nictakis to become a Grief Companion with EricsHouse.

These are FREE Virtual Trainings. Please see dates below and email jean@ericshouse.org for more information.

  1. September 11, 2020, 1:00-5:00 pm "Facilitating an Intake Appointment"
  2. October 16, 2020, 1:00-5:00 pm "Planning, Reviewing, and Facilitating Grief Companioning Sessions".
Inspiration for September
In addition to providing grief support after a loss and holistic support as part of our Integrative Grief Care model, we offer several alternative therapies to support emotional, physical, and spiritual healing. We work with individuals who have lost someone they love unexpectedly with a specialization in suicide and substance losses.