Have you been bereaved by suicide?
Bereavement after a suicide can often be very complicated. In addition to grief, people bereaved by suicide can experience shock, guilt, anger and social isolation. Because the death may have been sudden or unanticipated, it can be particularly traumatic and painful for those who were close to the person.
As well as the combination of emotions, you may find yourself preoccupied with finding an explanation why the person chose to end their life. Unfortunately, it is often true that you may never really know what was going through the person’s head at that time, and may be left without an explanation. This can make grief more complex and draining. The search for an explanation of the suicide can often bring up thoughts and questions about your relationship with the person, and can even amplify your loss.
Everyone will experience bereavement after a suicide differently, but often it will mean that you make some changes in your life, relationships, and your view of yourself. As the grieving process unfolds, people will often begin to concentrate more on their life’s meaning or purpose, and their own hopes, beliefs and plans for the future.
Grief is not a sign that you aren’t coping. Instead, it is a normal part of the process of healing. It is often the case that the grief will wax and wane in intensity, with emotional times alternating with short times of relief.