death of a loved one is never an easy experience. Dealing with the death of a suicide can make the process of bereavement more challenging because of several factors that set suicide apart such as; stigma, traumatic aftermath, and dealing with many mixed emotions such as shame and anger.
Because grief can be so painful and seems so overwhelming, it frightens us. Many people worry if they are grieving the “right” way and wonder if the feelings they have are normal. Grief is like a rollercoaster – it has many ups and downs. It is ongoing, coming and going when you least expect it. Below are some helpful resources to aid in the recovering after the death of a suicide.
For many survivors of suicide, there is a power of connection found with other survivors. It is important when dealing with the grief that follows a loved one’s death, to push yourself to get out and seek the help that you need. It is not a time to be alone in life, but rather to surround yourself with life. Relief is found when a person can talk openly about suicide. A critical part for many survivors has been finding a “Surviving after Suicide” grief support group where there are no walls of stigma and understanding can be found. A support group provides a safe place where survivors can come and share their experience and support one another. Knowing there are others who understand the nightmare that you may be enduring can help in knowing that they are not alone and help them to take the next step to recovery.
Some survivors attend a support group almost immediately, whilst others may wait for years. Some attend for a year or two and then go only occasionally (such as the particularly difficult days) birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, etc. In the beginning, it takes time to feel comfortable. However, sharing your sorrows allows you to be able to work through what has happened. Many times in our grief, our lifelong friends disappear. They may not know what to say or do or may feel uncomfortable. In a support group, fellow survivors often begin new friendships based on a common thread of understanding the pain and tragedy that your hearts have felt through the tragic loss of suicide.
COJ offers “Hope and Healing After A Suicide Loss” support group the 1st Tuesday of each month from 7-9 pm at Indiana Wesleyan University. This group is designed to assist any adult who has had a loved one die by suicide. To attend this group, please call us at 513.870.9108.
If you think someone is suicidal, call 911, or take them to the nearest hospital.
NATIONAL SUICIDE CRISIS HOTLINE 1-800-273-8255
TO BOOK A QPR (Question – Persuade – Referral) TRAINING SESSION CALL SHEILA AT 513-870-9108