Coping with Suicide
Those that have suffered the loss of a loved one due to suicide are often left reeling with very little direction on where to go or what to feel or what to think. Because suicide is generally unexpected and unexplained those that are left behind are left dealing with emotions that are hard to grasp and that may or may not make sense. There are a number of support organizations that are particular to those that have suffered suicide and family and friends can also provide a welcome distraction from the emotional stresses of every day coping. In time you will be able to find some peace with the actions of your loved one and move forward in a positive direction.
Suicide very rarely only affects the family members of the victims. Where a regular death typically impacts the family and close friends the most, a suicide spider webs out to encompass a broader range of individuals in most cases. Not only are family and close friends impacted but typically also coworkers, colleagues, casual friends and others within the community that had ties to the deceased. As a whole you may find that those that knew the deceased well that were not family have as difficult a time coping and sometimes more so than the actual family members do.
After suffering the loss of a loved one or friend due to suicide you will most likely feel shock, denial, anger and then depression. Because suicide also brings out immense feelings of guilt by many that were close to the victim, it can be very difficult to cope - especially during the anger and depression stages of the grieving process. Families may resort to finger pointing on who didn't know, who didn't do anything or who was not there for the victim and this can result in damaged relationships that can't be repaired. By the same token, depression and guilt over not being there and not knowing what was going on with your loved one can overtake family and friends to the point where they put themselves at risk. Denying yourself to grieve and denying the emotions that are coursing through your psyche can lead to social withdraw, sleep issues, nightmares or flashbacks and it is important that you are aware of the consequences as family members and friends of suicide victims have a higher rate of depression and suicide.
Finding a way to cope with the loss of a loved one that has resorted to suicide can be difficult and it is important to lean on family and friends in a non-confrontational manner. There are many suicide support groups as well as suicide counselors that can help you with your anger and your guilt and your sadness and that typically truly understand what you're going through. Taking advantage of the resources available to you and giving yourself time to heal from your loss regardless of your understanding of why can help you move forward in your own life with forgiveness and peace.