Grief after suicide loss
Losing a loved one or a personal connection to suicide may be one of the most difficult life circumstances you will face. SAVE offers many resources that are meant to guide and help you achieve peace, and have strength to carry on after a loss to suicide. Learn what you can do in the aftermath of a suicide to help yourself or someone else through the process of grief.
- Grief After Suicide – This flyer provides coping strategies for people who have been touched by suicide.
- Responding to Suicide Survivors – This flyer discusses appropriate and inappropriate ways to comfort suicide survivors.
- Suicide Common Misconceptions – This flyer discusses common misconceptions regarding suicide, as well as facts and statistics about suicide that aid in creating awareness about suicide and suicidal ideation.
- Suicide: Frequently Asked Question – This flyer discusses common questions about depression and suicide.
What You Need to Know
» It’s ok to grieve
The death of a loved one can feel like sudden, unexpected and drastic amputation of a limb without any anesthesia. The pain cannot be described and no scale can measure the loss. We want so much for our loved one to return so that we can do something, and we ache knowing that it just can’t happen. You need to know that it’s okay to grieve.
» It’s ok to cry
Tears release the flood of sorrow of missing the one you love. Tears relieve the brute force of hurting, enabling us to “level off” and continue our cruise along the stream of life. Shedding tears is not a sign of weakness-it is a sign of our human nature and emotions of deep despair and sorrow. You need to know that it’s okay to cry.
» It’s ok to heal
We do not need to “prove” that we loved the person who has died. As the months pass we are slowly able to move around with less outward grieving each day. We need not feel “guilty”, for this is not an indication that we love less. It only means that, although we don’t like it, we are learning to accept death and it’s finality of the pain our loved one suffered. It’s a healthy sign of healing. You need to know that it’s okay to heal.
» It’s ok to laugh
Laughter is not a sign of “less” grief. Laughter is not a sign of “less” love. It’s a sign that many of our thoughts and memories are happy ones and our dear one would have wanted us to laugh again. You need to know it’s okay to laugh.
More On Grief
Grief is as old as mankind but is one of the most neglected of human problems. As we become aware of this, we begin to realize the enormous cost that it has been to the individual, to the families and to society, in terms of pain and suffering because we have neglected the healing of grief.
Essential to a grieving person is to have at least one person who will allow them and actually give them permission to grieve. Some people can turn to a friend or to a family member. Others find a support group helpful that will allow one to be the way one needs to be as they work through their grief.
Dealing appropriately with grief is important in helping to preserve healthy individuals and nurturing families, to avoid destroying bodies and their psyche, their marriages and their relationships. You can postpone grief but you cannot avoid it. As other stresses come along, one becomes less able to cope if one has other unresolved grief.
It requires a great deal of energy to avoid grief and robs one of energy for creative expression in relating to other people and in living a fulfilling life. It limits one’s life potential. Suppressing grief keeps you in a continual state of distress and shock, unable to move from it. Our body feels the effects of it in physical ailments. Our emotional life also suffers. Our spiritual life suffers. When this occurs we often hear it said that the person is “stuck in grief”.
When a person faces their grief, allows their feeling to flow, speaks of their grief, allows its expression, it is then that the focus moves from death and dying to promoting life and living. This is normal and okay, it is part of the grieving process.
Suicide: Survivors is a wonderful book published on suicide and suicide grief. The author, Adina Wrobleski, was the original founder of SAVE, and an expert on suicide. She has spent many years studying the subject after her daughter, Lynn, died by suicide in the late 1970’s. Reading this book is a good “first step” for someone beginning the arduous journey of trying to work through suicide grief. This book can be ordered directly from SAVE, click here to purchase Suicide: Survivors online.