19 May When you have lost someone to suicide
Nothing can mitigate (meaning to lessen) the pain caused when you lose someone you love, especially to suicide. However, understanding some of the emotions you might feel will feel can help you to better process and manage the situation.
A mix of emotions
Don’t be surprised if you feel a whole bunch of different emotions: sadness, anger, guilt, frustration, hopelessness, confusion. You name it, suicide can unleash many many different complex and confusing feelings.
For example, many people find themselves feeling angry at the person for committing suicide but then guilty for feeling angry at the person they loved so much. Others might feel completely frustrated that they weren’t able to see the signs beforehand which leads to them also feeling helpless about knowing what will happen in the future to loved ones. Such emotional mixes are common and are often overwhelming, palpable (meaning tangible, able to be felt), and difficult to manage.
As another example, if you know someone who has committed suicide and you feel desperately sad over the incident, you are not alone. Knowing someone who has committed suicide is a devastating feeling that takes a lot of time, compassion and support to overcome. Reach out to someone for help. Please see the list of resources at the end of this post for places that may be helpful to you.
Desperate to know why
While our emotions might make us feel all sorts of different things, our mind can be struggling as well to comprehend what has happened. Sometimes those who commit suicide leave a note explaining their actions. Sometimes they don’t. Sometimes we may never fully know why, with or without a note. Living with that unknown can be quite hard for people. If you hear yourself saying to yourself, I just don’t get why??? Why didn’t he talk to me? or Why didn’t she see how amazing she was???, you are not alone. Many people find themselves turning these questions over in their minds, but realize that you may have to live with the unknown. Our minds like certainty, so this is why you may continually seek an answer, but life isn’t always certain and it may take some time before you find some peace with this process.
The healing process
The healing process is different for each and every person. Some people may wish to crawl into their bed and stay there for weeks, while other people might need to be surrounded by friends and family 24/7. Some people will be able to let go of their loss in a relatively short amount of time (even though they will always miss their loved one) while other people will need a long time to process through their pain. So, if you have lost someone, please don’t judge yourself own how you are handling the situation. Simply recognize that you are suffering from grief. Feeling lost is a common experience when you lose someone you loved or about whom you cared deeply. You may have recurring (meaning repetitive) thoughts, trouble focusing, difficulties sleeping, a loss of appetite… many different physical, emotional and mental symptoms. These are normal signs of grief.
If you are experiencing some of these symptoms or are simply struggling on your own seek some comfort and support. Although the above are normal signs of grief, this does not mean that you have to suffer through them forever. Reach out to someone you can trust to share your feelings. Or, reach out to one of those helpful places listed in the next sub-post or to this site for survivors: http://www.survivorsofsuicide.com
Or, at the very least, start to journal your feelings. Writing about your feelings helps to begin the healing process.
Also, comfort yourself: it is an important part of the healing process. What do you find comforting? Is it being with your friends? Taking a long walk or a hot bath? Playing sports? When you figure out what it is that makes you feel good and de-stressed and when you find the time to enjoy those activities, the grieving process will be more bearable. You may be fragile right now and so you deserve some extra care and comfort.