When Someone Commits Suicide
Dealing with the aftermath of suicide can be devastating
If you’ve been affected by suicide, then there are people you can get in touch with. You can contact an organisation such as Cruse Bereavement Care or Survivors Of Bereavement By Suicide (SOBS)
But until you are ready or able to talk to someone, there are things you can do to help yourself.
Understand There Was Nothing You Could Have Done
Sometimes people are just determined to take their own life. Nothing you could have said or done would have stopped them. And you never know, you could have been one of the reasons they held on for as long as they did. Thinking there was something you could have done is unhelpful and unhealthy. There was nothing. Believe me.
They Weren’t Being Selfish
One of the most common things that people say about those who commit suicide is that what they did was “selfish.” Suicide isn’t the act of a selfish person. It’s the act of a DESPERATE person. Selfish people are acting for their own personal gain. Suicidal people see no other way out of their pain and suffering. Please don’t remember them for what they did, remember them for who they were and all the good things about them.
Losing anyone is bad enough. But losing someone to suicide seems to complicate matters even further. Along with the usual feelings of emptiness and loss, you are left with so many questions.
And people are very often left with a feeling of guilt. As if they somehow could have stopped it if only they had known. But the likelihood is, nobody could have stopped it. That person was in a dark enough place to think that suicide was their only way to make the pain stop. It would take even the most highly skilled professional a long time to get someone away from this mindset.
Grieving Will Be Complicated
Grief is hard enough, but research has shown that suicide complicates and intensifies emotions. Grief isn’t always uphill. You may find you’re feeling okay for quite a while and suddenly feel yourself slipping backwards. This is totally normal and unfortunately a process you just have to ride out with the help of communication and counselling if you feel it would benefit you. Birthdays and anniversaries will be hard, and you may need some extra help and support around these times.
You Need To Look After Yourself Physically And Mentally
You might be communicating and getting the help you need, but you also need to take care of your body. Try to get as much sleep as you can. I know it won’t be easy, but you need to rest. Stay well hydrated and try to get some exercise whenever you feel up to it. Don’t feel bad if you don’t. But conversely, don’t feel bad if it’s all you want to do.
Try not to drink too much or use drugs. These might appear to be helping, but they will make things much harder long-term.
Your Feelings Are Natural
And that includes anger. It is totally normal to be angry. It’s normal to be angry about what happened, and it’s normal to be angry at that person. It doesn’t mean you don’t miss them, and it doesn’t mean you love them any less. It just means you’re grieving. Don’t try to repress your feelings, just accept them whenever they happen.
It doesn’t matter how well you knew someone, you can still mourn their passing. Don’t try to hide your grief. Suppressing your emotions can have a really negative impact on your mental and physical health. Nobody has any right to tell you how to grieve and whether or not you are allowed to.