The grief felt when a loved one dies by suicide is complicated. Coping with these feelings of loss and grief is very difficult.
If you’re grieving the loss of a loved one due to suicide, it is important to take extra care of yourself.
Here are some tips for taking care of yourself when a loved one dies by suicide.
- Find someone to talk to. It can be very hard for survivors to find someone to talk about their feelings with because there is often a lot of stigma and misunderstanding around suicide. If you can’t talk openly with friends or family, find a local support group, doctor, counselor, or religious leader to speak with.
- Know that it’s not going to be easy. Grief is never easy, but suicide almost always leads to complicated grief. This means that feelings of sadness and loss are extremely intense and can be very debilitating. It may take longer for you to start to heal.
- Find ways to honor the life of the person who has died. Don’t focus as much on their death but try to focus on their life. Review pictures and mementos, make a memory box, spend time at their favorite spots, or cook their favorite food.
- Develop a resource list of people to call when times get tough. Know that you may have suicidal thoughts yourself and that this is very common. Have a list of trusted people to call when you need help.
- Be kind to yourself. Eat healthy food, exercise, allow yourself time to do only what is essential, or spend time in nature.
- Educate yourself. When you are ready, collect information about suicide. Read books about surviving suicide.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. It is always okay to reach out, no matter the day or time. No matter what you are feeling, someone else has felt that way before too. If you can’t talk to friends, family, or other support people reach out to one of the organizations below who can help connect you with support.
Here are some other resources:
National Suicide Prevention Hotline – confidential 24/7 support
Veterans Crisis Line – call, chat or text for 24/7 help
1-800-273-8255 EXT 1
SAVE: Suicide Awareness Voices of Education – resources and education for survivors