When someone you love commits suicide, the most difficult thing to wrap your mind around is often making sense of the whole process.
Survivors of suicide often have a difficult time dealing with the fact that their loved one is gone. Moreover, grief after suicide can be overwhelming. It can cause intense feelings of guilt, confusion, pain, and so much more.
Unsurprisingly, grief after suicide is often more difficult than when someone passes away naturally. Mostly, because it often comes with so many unanswered questions as well as an unexpected death.
So, how can you deal with grief after a suicide, and start to make sense of the process?
Understand the Stages of a Survivor
Suicide is traumatic for everyone involved. If someone close to you has decided to end their life, it will usually come as a shock. It’s important that you learn how to deal with the process, so you can eventually find peace and healing.
Many suicide survivors can fall into depression—usually stemming from self-driven feelings of guilt. You may start to think you could have done something differently to help your loved one.
Some survivors of suicide even begin to feel responsible for the untimely death of their loved one. As imagined, this type of processing can be dangerous, leading you to think suicidal thoughts as well.
It’s not uncommon for people to start feeling an extreme anger bubble up. They might be angry at the person who committed suicide. Or, they might direct that anger toward other people (or themselves).
Nevertheless, this is another frequent part of the process of healing. Because of the overwhelming force of these emotions, it’s helpful to know what to expect in grief.
Things like denial, shock, a loss of faith, and extreme grief are all often part of the process when someone commits suicide. This process might look different for everyone. Yet, it’s important to know how to get through it.
How to Deal With Grief After Suicide
When you’re trying to make sense of suicide, the most important thing to remember is that you don’t have to go through it alone.
There are many helpful options available. Depression counseling can be very helpful for someone dealing with grief after suicide, for example.
With counseling, you can work through the various stages of grief— from denial to acceptance, and everything in between. A counseling can help you navigate those complicated emotions.
As mentioned before, you may begin to notice symptoms of depression. Affecting your emotional, physical, or mental health, depression counseling can also help you to manage those symptoms.
Lean on Others for Support
Sadly, a suicide happens about every 40 seconds. For this reason, there are many support groups to help loved ones manage the traumatic experience.
Participating in one of these support groups can make a big difference. It’s important to connect with people who have similar, shared experiences.
Also, groups such as these make it easier to open up about your struggles and the kind of grief you’re dealing with. And the support and participation don’t end simply when you “feel okay” again.
People who have been through the process of suicide are often the most helpful to others who are struggling. You can “pay it forward” to others by sharing your story and giving helpful advice on how to move forward.
Perhaps you’re dealing with anger, shame, denial, or depression after your loved one took their life. Please, know that you don’t have to go through this alone. Support is here.
With professional help, you can move forward with your life.
If you have lost a loved one to suicide, please contact me today for support. Or, visit here to learn more about how I can help you.