Stay connected with other family members – The last thing you need is to be isolated and alone. You need other people at this time more than any other. Contact with others is particularly important in the first six months following a loved one’s suicide. Note, grief is pretty messy at times.
Stages of Grief: Elizabeth Kubler-Ross Updated Cycle. Grief does not flow linearly from one stage to another. The cycles can be circular moving from Shock to Anger or Denial. Your response will be influenced by many factors. Do not judge yourself by you reaction of others. Everyone grieves in their own time and own way. Trust your process, get help, stay connected. Isolating yourself slows, delays or perhaps even prevents the grief process. Recognize that these feelings are real. Your job is to acknowledge and allow them, even if they are painful, scary or make you anxious. Excellent resource site for grief. https://whatsyourgrief.com/
Those who have been through the process are often the best sources for survival suggestions. The following tips are a common theme among various self-help groups, grief counseling and treatment sites.
• It takes time to survive. You may not think you will survive, but you will.
• Lean on your faith to help get you through this crisis. If you aren’t affiliated with any specific religious group, do meditation and bring forth your own higher power to help you heal.
• Getting past your feelings of anger, shock, fear, guilt, relief, and depression is necessary – but it doesn’t mean you forget. You do need to “wear out” all those feelings, however, before you can begin to heal. Allow yourself to do so.
• “Why” is always important. Give yourself permission to find the answers until you are satisfied. If you can only obtain partial answers, and that is all that will be forthcoming, be satisfied with that so you can move on. Listed here are a few websites that may be helpful for suicide survivors:
Article: Harvard Site on Aftermath of Suicide
• For Suicide Survivors – forsuicidesurvivors.com/index.html, devoted to those who are grieving the loss of a loved one by suicide.
• Suicide Survivors.org – www.suicidesurvivors.org/, survivors of suicide help and information, Judy Raphael Kletter.
• Surviving Suicide – www.survivingsuicide.com/cope.htm, provided by the surviving suicide support group of the Central Christian Church.
Suicide Support Groups
The following link to suicide support groups comes from Suicide.org, www.suicide.org/suicide-support-groups.html. Click on the state to be directed to a list of suicide survivor support groups in that state. There is also a link to suicide support groups in Canada.