The grief one feels after a loved has committed suicide is a special kind of grief. The loss is sudden, senseless and often leaves survivors with feelings of guilt or even anger. The important thing to remember is that there are those around you who are willing to help you deal with this confusing and tragic event – if you let them. So, whether you are coping with the loss of a loved one, or are helping a child or adult navigate such a loss, these tools can help.
- Accept your emotions: The emotions that a person feels in the midst of a love one having committed suicide is a mixed bag. Denial, guilt, shame, anger, confusion, anxiety and loneliness are all a part of the emotional spectrum felt by survivors. Accept that these feelings are part of the grieving process and do not feel ashamed of exhibiting these emotions.
- Draw on the support of others: There are always people willing and able to help you through the grief process. These can be family and friends or professionals. Most likely you will be able to utilize some combination of both. Don’t let the stigma that is around suicide prevent you from reaching out to others in your time of need. Your loss is no less legitimate that survivors whose loved ones have died by other causes.
- Join a group: As isolated as your situation may be, know that there are others who have gone through the same thing. It sometimes helps to connect with people who have first hand expereicne of what you have gone through. These support groups can easily be found both on and offline.
- Take care of yourself: People who are in mourning often fail to get enough sleep or to eat regular, healthy meals. Taking care of yourself under trying circumstances such as these can help you better cope mentally.
- Don’t isolate yourself: As soon as you can, get out and try to enjoy the activities you did before your loved one passed.
As we said in the beginning, suicide is a special form of grief because of the stigma that surrounds it. However, the feelings that survivors experience is just as real as any other loss. You can honor the spirit of your loved one with an engraved wind chime or a memorial wind chime and think of that person each time the wind causes it to ring.