Let us be who we've become -- people changed by tragedy. Just try to "be there" and support whatever form our grief takes. Trying to understand is okay, but just caring is enough. Realize that you can't possibly relate to what we are experiencing. You don't have to.
Mourning a death by suicide is a lengthy, intense and confusing process. It is also unique; each of us experiences grief in our own way.
Because suicide is a sudden, unexpected and often violent loss, the grief it causes is excruciating, prolonged, and still often stigmatized. This may cause us to withdraw socially. We may even feel responsible for our loss. Those who witness the suicide or find the body may suffer post traumatic stress.
We don't "get over" a suicide. The effects may stabilize, but the loss is forever felt. Our personal values and beliefs are shattered and we are changed emotionally.
Every suicide survivor needs immediate support at the time of the loss. Individualized or family counseling, medical care, and participation in on-going support groups can be extremely helpful.
To read a heartbreaking first-hand account of the aftermath of a loved one's suicide, click HERE.
"There are always two parties to a death; the person who dies and the survivors who are bereaved."
A suicide survivor is an individual who has lost someone he/she cared for deeply to suicide. The victim may have been a parent, child, spouse, sibling, other relative, partner, or friend. It is estimated that every suicide leaves six to eight "survivors."
"One often calms one's grief by recounting it." ~ Pierre Corneille
It's okay to talk about "it" because that's all that's on our minds. Let any statements we make about respon-sibility, blame, or guilt just flow. It will sort itself out over time. Please mention our loved one, whether it was a child, spouse, sibling, parent or other loved one. Avoid setting any timetable for recovery as there isn't any.
Some suicide survivors find it uncomfortable to speak about the loss. With this in mind, it's wise simply to ask, "How are you feeling? Can we talk about it?" And then be willing to listen.