Weekly Newsletter

Good morning, Trench Dwellers!

Snow has begun to fall in and around Chicago, and the grass is now covered in a blanket of white. The cold and snow make me want to curl up next to our new, electric fireplace with a cup of hot chocolate, a Christmas movie, and my warm quilt. It would be nice to spend the rest of the holiday season just like that—instead, my friends are hurting, our country is hurting, and I too have a heavy heart. I feel your pain, friends, and although I'm sure we would all like to hunker down for the winter and escape, know that the Trench Community is here to love on you and help you through this season.

Did you get a chance to read from our two authors this week? These women shared about their divorces and how they are finding their way in the aftermath. Beautiful, emotional writings about the pain of ending marriages and how they found the strength to move on. I found myself crying for them, rooting for them, and wishing we lived in a world that did not include such heartache. You can find their stories on the blog and join the Surviving the Holidays discussions on divorce in our forums.

As we continue our Surviving the Holidays series this week, we turn to another painful topic: suicide. How does one survive the gut-wrenching torment when a loved one does the unthinkable? These brave women will be sharing their stories—their journeys into a world they never thought they would enter, and how they face the holiday season without their loved ones.

According to Youth Suicide Statistics:

  • Suicide is the second leading cause of death for ages 10-24.
  • Suicide is the second leading cause of death for college-age youth and ages 12-18.
  • More teenagers and young adults die from suicide than from cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, stroke, pneumonia, influenza, and chronic lung disease combined.

These statistics are alarming, confusing, and leave those left behind with so many questions. If you or a loved one are thinking suicidal thoughts, please reach out for professional help. If you have lost a loved one from suicide, please reach out for help—professional counseling and/or a grief support group. Please also know Stories from the Trenches is here to love you, encourage you, and be a rock for you in your moments of heartache.

Jen G.
Founder, Stories from the Trenches

Jen's Journal

Do you ever notice that loss comes in waves? Yesterday, I headed out to hold one of my dearest friend's hands while she said goodbye to her father for the last time. Then I took phone calls from two other friends who are being torn apart by painful relationships—relationships that might need to be severed. I shed tears as another dear friend is wishing she were holding her son instead of visiting his grave.

These things leave me with a heavy heart and a prayerful spirit as I reflect on these women and their beautiful souls and the trenches they are in right now. The good news is they are not alone in these trenches. There is power in just showing up for one another. I don't always know what to say or what to do, but I have learned how to show up. Loving others isn't some lofty ideal. Love is a verb—an action we chose for those we call friends.

Featured Forums

This week, our Surviving the Holidays series will highlight stories from women who are grieving the loss of loved ones to suicide. But the stories are just the start—continue the support, conversation and encouragement in the blog comments and in the forums:

For the sake of privacy and safety, we ask you to log in or register for a free account to view and participate in our community conversations.

Recent Stories


Ripped Apart

It’s been a year since my life changed. Since my worst nightmare came true. A year since I lost my husband.

I was blindsided when he said he wanted a divorce. When I woke up that morning, I didn’t know that was the last day. That he had been that unhappy. That the life I thought we had was a different story from the one he thought we had.

Read More →


Purple Heartache

Purple. I felt purple. It was beyond the darkness of the blues you get when you’re going through hard times. It bruised my heart like a beyond-the-blues beating. Hadn’t life already doled out my fair share of troubles and murky shadows laced with leprous legions of brokenness?

I guess not. Life wasn't finished with me yet.

Read More →