Finding Peace as a Suicide Loss Survivor

Finding Peace As A Suicide Loss Survivor

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Finding Peace as a Suicide Loss Survivor

Where do I even begin? I don’t even know how to say what I must….
There really is no other way to explain it …. when you lose a child, your world stops turning. And to lose anyone – especially your child – to suicide is unexplainable trauma. How on earth do you go about finding peace as a suicide loss survivor?


Finding Peace As A Suicide Loss Survivor


After my teenage son went missing and then learning from a friend of his that he had talked about suicide and even said he bought a gun, my life suddenly turned inside out. I had no clue that my son might ever consider taking his own life. By all ‘standards’ he was spoiled and blessed, living a life that many others would undoubtedly do anything to have the opportunity to live.

Unfortunately, mental anguish doesn’t discriminate and my son’s life long “high functioning anxiety” suddenly turned into something much more. His first real experience with the stress and bumps of normal life events was apparently more than he felt he could bear.


Cole Ousley

My 19 year old son, Devin Coleburn Ousley, perfect by all accounts, died from suicide on October 10th, 2017.



There are no words to express the torment that occurs in the mind of a suicide loss survivor, especially for a parent. I can fathom no greater pain, no emptier abyss, than what I have found myself in.  Truly, for at least a week, I probably should have been institutionalized. A month has passed and most of the first two weeks are a blur or are completely absent from my memory except for the remnants of indescribable pain and confusion. How could this happen to ‘me’?

Better yet, HOW COULD I LET THIS HAPPEN to my perfect son?


No words express the torment of a suicide loss survivor


Had it not been for my beloved friends and church family, I’m not certain I’d have survived this nightmare month with my sanity, nor my faith, intact. Both of them have honestly taken heavy blows.

I feel like there is so much I still need to express about my loss but at the same time I feel utterly devoid of comprehensible thought.

I’m miserable and brokenhearted. My mind is still tormented by thoughts of how I could have changed things, reexamining every conversation I ever had with my child. I think about things that I now know must have been red flags of what was to come and I wish the world would collapse upon me for not seeing his pain. Every time I walk by his bedroom I fall apart all over again.


Finding Peace


The only thing that has brought me any peace over the last 4 weeks has been trying to help others somehow. Through the assistance of a dear friend, and originally as my request in lieu of flowers for my son’s wake, my family has started a nonprofit organization, named Perfect Enough, which will strive to educate others and prevent suicide in our Appalachian community. 

You can follow

Perfect Enough : The Cole Initiative

both here and on Facebook.

A Journey No One Wants To Take

And so, a new journey unfolds for me. I refuse to let my son die in vain or without telling his story in the hopes of saving others. If I can prevent someone else’s world from ceasing to spin then I will. I am not the tiniest bit happy about being placed upon this path but I know without a doubt that God intends for me to use this tragedy to serve others in need. Ephesians 2:10 tells us “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

If you’ve been following my blog then you likely have already observed the irony of my previous post subjects and this tragedy occurring. Make no mistake, I know without a doubt that God was trying to prepare me for this nightmare and was attempting to arm me with a faith strong enough to withstand this storm. I am still struggling to win the battle.

Please pray for me. No matter when you read this, Please pray. Pray for my strength, comfort and wisdom as I try to piece a life together without my beautiful son. Please pray for all of my son’s loved ones. He left behind 3 other parents besides me, 2 siblings, several grand parents, many cousins and countless friends who now have a huge piece of their hearts missing.

If you are struggling with thoughts of self harm please call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. You can also visit suicidepreventionlifeline.orgor text 741741.


(3) Comments

  1. […] know there are people who think I’m so strong and that the way I’ve dealt with losing my child is so inspiring. Others may view it as me grieving so lightly that I must not have loved my son […]

  2. […] October when my son passed away, I was smack dab in the middle of a huge home makeover (including a DIY chalk paint kitchen cabinet […]

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