Pain isn’t always obvious. Friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers can be struggling in silence and we can make a difference. Suicide is preventable.org advocates that we become familiar with the signs:
When we perceive that someone is struggling, it is important to start a conversation by mentioning the warning signs we’ve observed. Ask this person if they’re considering ending their life. Listen with concern and reassurance. If we think the person is suicidal, don’t leave them alone. Call the suicide hotline at 800-273-8255 to reach a trained counselor for support. The passing of someone we care about is never easy, and is often more difficult when the death was by suicide. Pastor Laura is available for conversation and offers these resources as well.
The unthinkable has happened. Someone you care deeply about has committed suicide. Your loss is complicated, and you are left with many questions. You may have feelings of shame, guilt, or blame, and may avoid talking about it due to the perceived stigma of the situation. You are likely having difficult conversations with others involved, and your belief system may have been shaken. You must choose how to handle the things.
The most pressing question is probably, “Why did he/she do this?” Suicide is a complex issue and not typically the result of a single life event. Their psychological pain had become overwhelming, and coping skills had not been able to alleviate the distress. You may never know the full “why” answers.
“How am I going to get through this?” Grief is different for everyone, but you will probably experience some of the following:
Don’t isolate. Connect with a friend, a pastor, a counselor and share your struggles. Take care of yourself physically, mentally, and spiritually. Realize that moving through grief takes time with any death, and especially after a suicide. You can connect with those who have experienced suicide loss at www.friendsforsurvival.org.
To support someone who has survived a suicide loss, be willing to listen as they talk about their loved one and their difficult and confusing emotions. You do not need to have answers, just be willing to listen with compassion. Express your condolences as you would with anyone who has had a significant loss. Talk about the person’s life rather than focusing on their death. Share a fond memory. Offer to help with tasks: meals, transportation of kids, yardwork, groceries, or laundry. Pray for them. Check on them in the weeks and months following the loss. Realize that moving through grief is not a linear process and takes time.
Visit some of these sites for more information: