Grief after Suicide

Thursday 10 September is World Suicide Prevention Day 2020, which is inevitably going to cause a peak in discussions around suicide across the world wide web. If you are currently dealing with grief after losing a loved one to suicide, you may find this a particularly emotional and challenging day, so it’s important that you approach this in your own way. Whether or not you choose to join the conversation, this is a positive movement which brings a topic that is still treated as a taboo into the spotlight and gives those dealing with grief after suicide, or indeed suicidal thoughts themselves, the chance to be heard.

Grief after suicide can be a long journey, often with many questions that will remain unanswered. You may already have found your emotions bouncing around from sadness to anger and even to guilt – reflecting on your time with this person and questioning if there was anything you could have done to prevent their death. It’s not always easy to know how to support someone who is feeling suicidal and resources and information can be limited. The team at Professional Help have posted a blog today which looks at Myths and Misconceptions about Suicide in an effort to take steps around awareness and prevention.

But what about you? Where are you on your grief journey today, and where do you go from here?

Why did this happen?

Suicide is an extremely complex topic. Whether your loved one had a known ongoing battle with suicidal thoughts, or if they never voiced it at all, losing someone in this way comes as a harsh and deeply unexpected blow. Often, there is not a single set of reasons that can explain such a loss and part of the grief journey is accepting that this is a question we may never be able to answer.

Moving Forward

There is no single right way to grieve and there certainly isn’t a wrong way to grieve, so try to follow your instincts while also encouraging yourself to try different ideas and approaches when you’re ready. Some find comfort in volunteering with relevant charities and campaigning to raise awareness of suicide prevention and mental health support. Others benefit from joining support groups and gain from the opportunity to speak with those who are experiencing the same unique grief that you’re dealing with. You may also want to consider introducing new traditions to your home or even making changes to existing ones to create something special to look forward to or a way to commemorate your loved one. Whatever approach you take, it’s important that you move forward at your own pace and allow yourself the time and space you need to grieve.

Falling Back

Painful reminders and anniversaries are bound to pop up with regards to your loved one. Some days these may be manageable, but other times may reduce you to tears and leave you feeling as though you’ve made no progress at all. This is normal and very much justified. There is no time limit on grief, and you are entitled to your emotions and to manage them in your own way when they hit you. A difficult period does not take away from the progress you have made. Be kind to yourself and never be afraid to reach out when you feel you need support.

We’ll Always Be Here.

Even if you’re struggling to talk to friends or family about how you’re feeling, you are not alone. The GriefChat free online support service offers anyone dealing with grief or bereavement the opportunity to speak with a dedicated and qualified Bereavement Counsellor, anonymously and with no obligation. This service is open Monday – Friday 09:00 – 21:00. If you’re struggling with the loss of a loved one to suicide, come and talk to us today.

If you’re experiencing suicidal thoughts, we recommend you urgently seek support through one of the following:

The Samaritans
Phone: 116 123


Staying Safe

Papyrus – Prevention of Young Suicide
Phone: 0800 068 41 41

Shout! crisis line
Anyone in crisis can text Shout to 85258.

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