This website is dedicated to the memory of Joe Rosenblatt, a fellow survivor, webmaster, co-facilitator, and inspiration to all of us. Joe passed away on October 28, 2016. He first came to SOS early in 1999, shortly after the death of his son, Chris.
Had Chris not died by his own hand, I would have never known Joe, nor would he have crossed paths with so many people – through SOS, through Yellow Ribbon, New Hope Counseling, through the Crystal Cathedral and Shepherds Grove congregations. The loss of his son altered forever the trajectory of Joe’s life, and brought him into so many of ours … and the ripple effect continues as the examples he set for caring and comfort carry forward..
Joe truly turned his scars into stars. In his quiet, kind way, he helped literally thousands of suicide survivors navigate through their tremendous sorrows, and put his exquisite listening skills to use as a New Hope counselor and trainer. He was a tireless volunteer for other causes related to suicide prevention and postvention. Several times he accepted speaking engagements to talk about suicide, and once appeared at Camp Pendleton – Being an Army vet who served in Vietnam, he was amused to find himself addressing hundreds of Marines and commanding their full attention.
As my co-facilitator at SOS for 17 of my 28 years, he was such a comforting presence, and known by countless people for his quiet wisdom and constant encouragement … both at group or by phone. Joe knew the nature of bereavement, the roller-coaster of emotions, and he acknowledged the sorrow coming and going by saying “there is a hole in your heart, and some days the wind will blow through it.”
Since the news of Joe’s passing raced through the telephone and social media networks, I have heard over and over how Joe personally touched wounded lives and helped them heal. Linda Andreason, one of our long time group members recounted how much Joe helped her and her daughter Dana after their loss. She stated “Joe taught me how to grieve and still breathe, that I could tell my story and eat See’s candy at the same time.”
See’s Candy was just a small part of the sweetness Joe offered to all of us. Rest in peace, our precious mentor and friend.
Donations in Joe's memory may be made to Catholic Charities of Orange County, 1820 E 16th St, Santa Ana, CA 92701 Attn: Tita Smith.