Losing a loved one is always devastating; losing a loved one to suicide can be even more challenging. Grieving usually helps people to come to terms with the loss, but doing so is difficult after a suicide when there are so many unanswered questions. Keep reading to learn more about coping after a suicide loss.
The death of a loved one can stir up a lot of emotions; the death of a loved one by suicide can draw up even more, many of them which can be confusing. If you start to feel strong emotions, know that this is completely okay. Don’t worry about what feelings you think you should feel or what people expect you to feel. Let yourself react naturally. Instead of pushing those emotions down, even if they are painful, recognize them, name them, and allow them to be. Feeling emotions helps them pass, so avoiding them will only prolong the grieving process.
Unfortunately, many people have also lost a loved one to suicide. They will all be at different parts of their grief journey and can be a great support system to help you through your own. Look for online or in-person support groups for people in similar situations.
Family members can also be great support since they also likely feel the loss of your loved one. Leaning on each other can not only help each of you individually, but it can strengthen the relationship between you all.
During painful times like losing someone to suicide, it can be difficult to remember to do basic things like shower and eat. Emotions can be heavy along with planning a funeral, so you may not feel like taking time away for yourself. Yet, during your grief process, it’s essential that you take time to care for yourself. Eat nutritious food, go for a walk, and get plenty of sleep. The better you feel physically, the better able you’ll be to deal with how you feel emotionally.
Talking with someone is one of the best ways to cope with emotions. Because there is still a stigma surrounding suicide, talking about it can feel daunting. Finding someone to talk about your loss with can help you process and overcome your grief.
If you don’t have anyone that you feel comfortable enough with to talk to about your loss, talking to a therapist can be highly beneficial. Not only will you be able to talk out your feelings, but you’ll also get some helpful advice and exercises that will make the process go even more smoothly.