Photo: Courtesy Of His Whole House / Submitted
Trying to navigate through a maze blind without legs — this is how Molly McNamara describes the feelings of pain and hopelessness accompanying the trauma of suicide.
McNamara is the founder and executive director of the Cypress-based nonprofit His Whole House, a ministry that uses a faith-based approach to help trauma survivors. The organization works to “break the cycle of trauma and shame” through training, mentoring and counseling. Among its clients are people whose loved ones have attempted or carried out suicide, as well as individuals who may themselves struggle with suicidal thoughts.
“We are not a crisis intervention ministry…however, what I’ve come to understand is there is a long-term recovery period for all of us — including myself,” said McNamara, who had herself overcome attempts of suicide as a teenager.
As a suicide survivor, McNamara will be sharing her story of loss and resilience during a live online talk Sept. 30 in observance of National Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month.
On March 31, 1998, McNamara said she received the most horrendous news of her life — her son, Adam Thomas, had died of suicide.
“It was in that moment that I became the most reluctant survivor of suicide and truly felt a very, very dark cloud come over,” she said. “It had been one of several traumas that had occurred within a short period of time. I’d lost both my parents just months before…and this was my only living child. It was something that took me to the bottom of my ability to function and I felt as if I was in a maze, blind without legs.”
She lived in the oppressive shadow of that dark cloud for 11 years. She finally came to recognize that what she’d experienced was trauma — the trauma of loss. She founded His Whole House in 2010.
“When I came out of the silence of my own pain and trauma and started the 501(c)3, my intention was