Healthy Coping Tips After the Loss of a Suicide

Author: Justin Turley

Dealing with the suicide of a loved one can be one of the most difficult things to cope with. Suicide has only increased over the years, and can affect the lives of anyone. Here are some things to keep in mind to help those dealing with the tragedy of a suicide, or if you yourself have experienced the suicide of a loved one.

Keep in touch. Reach out to loved ones, friends and spiritual leaders for comfort, understanding and healing. Surround yourself with people who are willing to listen when you need to talk, as well as those who'll simply offer a shoulder to lean on when you'd rather be silent.

Grieve in your own way. Do what's right for you, not necessarily someone else. There is no single "right" way to grieve. If you find it too painful to visit your loved one's gravesite or share the details of your loved one's death, wait until you're ready.

Be prepared for painful reminders. Anniversaries, holidays and other special occasions can be painful reminders of your loved one's suicide. Don't chide yourself for being sad or mournful. Instead, consider changing or suspending family traditions that are too painful to continue.

Don't rush yourself. Losing someone to suicide is a tremendous blow, and healing must occur at its own pace. Don't be hurried by anyone else's expectations that it's been "long enough."

Expect setbacks. Some days will be better than others, even years after the suicide — and that's OK. Healing doesn't often happen in a straight line.

Consider a support group for families affected by suicide. Sharing your story with others who are experiencing the same type of grief might help you find a sense of purpose or strength. However, if you find going to these groups keeps you ruminating on your loved one's death, seek out other methods of support.

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