Losing someone to suicide may be one of the most heartbreaking and difficult forms of grief. Oftentimes, after such a loss, people are left with painful questions and burdensome memories. Here are a few ways to help support someone after a recent loss due to suicide.
As suicide rates climb, supporting those near to you is vital. Supporting those you know and love can be as simple as a phone call or a quick text message to check in on them. Dropping by to make sure that they are well and taking care of themselves can be an important way to support someone after a recent traumatic loss.
Encourage your friend or family member to enter counseling for their loss. Professional help is one of the best ways to help work through such grief and finding practical and professional mental health support can be the difference between moving through grief with grace or sinking deeper into despair. If needed, volunteer to go with them to a grief counseling seminar or a group therapy session: your support likely will make it easier to get help.
Offer to help your friend or loved one clean up the space left behind by the person they lost. Cleaning up a room can be painful for anyone but it can be especially painful after a difficult loss. Encourage them to keep some clothing and photos from a better time: that may ease some of the pain of loss. Encourage them to donate any other clothing pieces that could maybe help someone else in need. Make a photo collage out of any photos that may be left behind and frame other treasured items the deceased kept. These mementos can help provide a place to remember the person at their best rather than focusing on the troubled times.
After a loss to suicide, it may seem daunting to try and help a close friend or family member but supporting those who have lost someone to suicide is a vital part of the grief process. If someone you know is in crisis, there are resources provided below.
Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255