Grieving and Caring For Yourself – Self Care After a Loss to Suicide
This year has been a difficult one, with shutdowns, pandemic, and political unrest. Some studies are beginning to show stats that the increase in suicides is up to around 200%. If you are experiencing this, we’re so, so sorry. It is crucial that during this difficult time you practice self-care and self-love.
If you or someone you know is struggling, Help is Available!
Call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline, available 24/7 at 800-273-8255!
This is a difficult time, and while you are doing your best to cope, you can’t forget that you need to take care of yourself. Remember this these things:
- You are not alone in this
You have a support network of friends, family, and potentially professional help, that are all here for you.
- You can take care of yourself
This is a big change, and you are going to need to heal in many ways. You can do this.
Some things are common to those coping as survivors. Recognize that these are possible, but they don’t have to be present, that doesn’t mean you’re dealing with this any worse, just differently
- You will feel a great deal of emotions from anxiety to sadness to grief to blaming yourself. This is normal. The grieving process is complex and you’ll feel a range of emotions you might not fully understand.
- You will need time to work through these feelings of guilt, shame, and self blaming. Don’t feel like you have to rush past these feelings, and do find the support you need—it is not “irrational” to feel guilty or ashamed.
- Allow yourself to feel. Cry and let out those emotions if you need to. This can give you relief from the pain..
- Many suicide survivors find some solace in sharing the truth about their loved one’s death by suicide. It eases the burden on them, and opens the door to those close to you to help.
- You may find it necessary to reduce interactions with those who make the grieving process more difficult. Do not hesitate to reduce those interactions and be honest with them, “I know you mean well, but what you are saying right now is not helpful.”
- Find a survivor support group, or seek out professional help. Most people don’t have all the tools they need emotionally to cope with something as difficult as this. That’s okay. Help is out there!
- If you are a parent of a child or teen whom this effects, be open and truthful. Allow the space and security to express emotions and talk. Encourage questions, and be there for them too.
The number one thing you need to remember, be kind to yourself…
When you feel ready to begin the next chapter in your life, you can enjoy life again. Remember and care for the memory of your lost loved one however it feels right, know you are on the path of healing and that it is okay to feel good. You are doing your best. Be kind to yourself.