How To Cope With Suicide Grief

Crying man.

The word grief not only refers to pain over the death of a loved one, but also to a situation of loss such as a divorce, a dismissal or the loss of a body member after an accident. Pain is a universal experience that all human beings go through at different times and situations.

Grieving the death of a loved one is never easy. In the case of grief due to suicide, the pain becomes even more intense because it is linked to feelings of guilt and helplessness. The intentional death of a loved one leaves family and friends very confused and with a high degree of anguish

Suicide is marked by stigma. Many people see it as shameful or sinful, others consider it “a choice” and blame the family. On many occasions they do not know how to support survivors and simply avoid the situation out of ignorance. Whatever the reason, it is important to keep in mind that suicide and the underlying grief are complex processes.

When a person commits suicide, the immediate family members who live with the person, the rest of the family, neighbors, friends, study partners and/or co-workers are directly affected.

How to overcome grief due to suicide: initial reflections

Through the testimonies of those who have attempted suicide, We know that the main objective of suicide is not to end life but with suffering.

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People with suicidal ideation are struggling with emotional agony that makes life unacceptable. Most people who die by suicide have depression that reduces their ability to solve problems.

Why is grief more difficult to overcome?

The process of mourning involves a series of processes that, beginning with the loss, end with the acceptance of reality, reorientation of mental activity and the recomposition of the internal world.

Family members and friends of people who have died by suicide are likely to feel great grief and confusion. They often ask themselves: “Why did this happen? How did I not see that coming?” They feel overwhelming guilt about what they should have done more or less. They have recurring thoughts that assault them almost daily. They often feel guilt, as if they are somehow responsible.

Many also experience anger and rage towards their loved one by abandonment or rejection, or disappointment at thinking that they were not loved enough to maintain their desire to live.

These erroneous assumptions can last a long time if not addressed properly. Many struggle for years trying to find answers or understand an event that in many cases is incomprehensible.

On the other hand, society still plays a harmful role in creating a stigma around death by suicide which makes survivors feel excluded. Survivors of loved ones who have died from terminal illness, accident, old age or other types of death are often met with sympathy and compassion. A family member is never blamed for cancer or Alzheimer’s, but society still casts a shadow over suicide.

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The role of memories

Another factor that makes grief due to suicide different is memories. When a loved one is lost due to illness or accident, we maintain happy memories. We can think of our loved one and share stories with nostalgia. However, this is not usually the case for the suicide survivor. Thoughts arise like: “Maybe he wasn’t happy when I took this photo of him?” “Why didn’t I see his emotional pain when we were on vacation?”

Survivors of suicide loss not only experience these aspects of complicated grief, but also are prone to developing symptoms of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder The indescribable sadness over suicide becomes an endless cycle of bewilderment, pain, flashbacks, and a need to numb the anguish.

Ways to Help a Suicide Loss Survivor

If you know someone who has lost a loved one to suicide, there are many things you can do. In addition to accompanying them in their pain (grief), you can help them get rid of the stigma created by society.

1. Ask if you can help them and how

In the event that they are not willing to accept help, with this gesture you show that you are there accessible to them Avoid distancing so he knows he can talk to you whenever he needs to.

2. Be patient

Don’t set a time limit for the survivor’s grief. Complicated grief can take years. Encourage them to share stories and express their thoughts Repetition can be a key factor in recovery.

3. Listen

Be a compassionate listener The best gift you can give a loved one who has survived a suicide loss is your time, peace of mind, and affection.

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4. Acceptance

Assume that they need to express their feelings, sometimes with silence and other times with sadness or anger.
Don’t be afraid to talk about suicide You can express your feelings of sadness and name the person you love. Those who have lost someone to suicide feel great pain, and they really need your empathy, compassion and understanding.

Ways to help yourself if you have suffered a loss from suicide

It can be very painful, but you have to learn to accept reality and understand that you are not responsible for the suicide of your loved one

1. Don’t set limits on pain

The grieving period takes time. You need to go through the different phases until you accept reality.

2. Plan for the future

When you are ready, organize family celebration days with the help of your family, birthdays and Christmas. Understand that these moments will be lived with sadness and seek ties of support and reinforcement to minimize reactions of intense sadness.

3. Make connections

Consider joining a support group designed specifically for survivors of suicide loss. The environment can provide a healing environment and mutual support.

4. Seek professional help if you need it

Remember that you are going through one of the most difficult and painful situations in life and you may need therapy to avoid unnecessarily prolonging the phases of grief.