Coping with a Loved One’s Suicide

Coping with a loved one’s suicide

I planned to write a light-hearted blog until I had a tearful episode early this week. Coping with a loved one’s suicide is a complicated  and unique situation. It knows no timetable. Almost immediately I knew a blog about suicide survivors was eminent.

Triggers From Other Survivors

For no apparent reason, while riding my stationary bicycle, I suddenly thought of my husband, Pablo’s, suicide in September 2014. The tears flowed, gushing forth like a torrent then almost subsided before starting up again. Within ten minutes, it was all over, the pressure valve temporarily down to zero.

Reviewing the days leading up to my outpouring of grief, I realized there were triggers. During a conversation with a friend, she related the devastation felt by family members when suicide entered their lives.

As is common, the ex-wife and son are dumbstruck by the unexpected suicide in their midst.

“Why did they do this?”

“What were they thinking?”

“What could I have done to prevent it?”

Suicide survivors want answers. Even if there is a note left, the answers do not come. Coping with a loved one’s suicide is complex and difficult to understand.

Another trigger came from watching a Facebook video of my friend and mentor, Psychic Kim Moore, relate how the suicide of her loved one completely changed her life. I was studying with Kim when Pablo passed. Her support and the support of my classmates was crucial.

Finally, perhaps the pull of the blue moon’s energy might have been my tipping point.

Understanding Suicide Survivors

As I was researching this blog, I came across a Psychology Today article, Understanding Survivors of Suicide Loss. It is a comprehensive look at this special situation. I encourage you to read the entire article if you are a survivor or are unsure how to support a survivor.

In my circumstance, I was able to talk to a psychologist who specialized in suicide. Her help was immeasurable. Yet, today, six years later, I still grieve. This is the nature of grief. It is normal to experience ups and downs stretching over years, especially when grieving as a suicide survivor.

How to Find a Support Group

What also helps is talking to other suicide survivors. I Googled “suicide survivor support groups near me” and found this information in my area:

  • American Foundation for Suicide Prevention AFSP Search
  • Healing After a Loved One’s Suicide (HALOS)
  • Suicide.org Florida Support Groups

Next Steps

I sent an email to a support group near me to register for the November meeting. Please use the AFSP Search to find a support group near you.

Coping with a loved one’s suicide requires support. We can’t do this alone.

Recovering still,
Dawn