If you have recently lost a
loved one then my heart goes out to you. The death of a loved one is a life-shattering event which has torn your world apart.
The feelings you experience following such a tragic loss are painfully real –
this is normal.
Individually we have to
come to terms with the terrible thing that has happened despite the feeling that our world is collapsing around us. It is
a bitter struggle. But when the cause of death is suicide, the situation seems somehow to be worse: anger and resentment often
intrude upon one's grief.
Our responses are frequently
confused and shrouded in a sense of total disbelief. Amongst the most common of our reactions are some which are listed below.
They mirror what we often think and say when someone close to us dies by his or her own hand. They are being included in the
deepfelt hope that you may be able to associate with them and that (in some way) this may help you to realize that you are
not completely alone in your grief. Too many others have experienced what you are experiencing and their hearts will be going
out to you in this dreadful time Please believe me - you are not alone.
The most common response to
such unwelcome news is simply not to believe it. It never happened - there must be a mistake. This is completely understandable.
The news is so terrible that we don’t want it - so we reject it. We do not want to accept the pain which accompanies
such a bad thing, so we reject it.
The simple passage of time
is a crucial factor in accepting the truth of what has happened. The length of time it takes to accept the truth will
vary from person to person Consequently, some people will require much longer than others.
We all handle this terrible
situation differently. Some
people may appear unmoved. This can give you the impression that they don't care. They seem to carry on as if this
terrible thing never happened. This can be deceptive. A form of shock. Please don’t
condemn them. It is not uncommon in such situations for people to simply block out was as happened. To shut down in a sense.
The news has been so awful
that he or she could be experiencing a sense of numbness and is no longer connected to everyday living. This is
the only way that some of us can handle such a dreadful event. We all handle bereavement differently.
What as happened is not your
fault - it is not fair. Your loss is not fair. The recognition that death is not fair is another common reaction. Death and
loss are not fair. When death strikes it is cruel and unfair. This is particularly true when you are in a loving relationship
and have planned a golden future together.
But when the deceased chose
to take his or her own life as well, the pain can become overwhelming and insufferable. It is normal to feel abandoned by the person you trusted the most.
Anger and resentment are common responses - and are justified. Despite these feelings being natural. They can be extremely
worrying and ought to be considered a warning that you are in danger and ought to seek help, support and assistance.
“If only”' is a common response in any bereavement, but when the cause was suicide, one can find oneself
going over the event time and time again . It really is natural to find that you can’t stop thinking about the things
which resulted in the suicide. This 'If only' phase can deceive you into believing that you are in some way responsible or guilty about things you
did, or didn’t do. Or what you said or didn’t say. Again this is a dangerous phase and it is better not to face
it alone. On top of everything else such thoughts can lead to increased depression and a belief that life has no meaning nor
Please be careful. It is quite common for bereaved people to believe that
there is nothing worth living for and that they may feel like ending it all - to escape intolerable pain by being re-united
with their loved ones...
If you are in such a dreadful dilemma then you are in danger. You may need assistance to survive this dark and pain experience. Please
do not attempt to face it all on your own. Find someone, anyone, a special friend, your doctor, a counsellor, religious advisor
or telephone crisisline.
Australia 1800-193-193. Canada 1-800-667-5005. Eire 1850-60-90-90. New Zealand
0800-543-543. South Africa 0861-322-322. United Kingdom 08457-90-90-90. United States 1-800-784-2433.