Suicide—The Personal Side
Having done a decent amount of grief work during my years practicing, I have had the honor of sitting with others experiencing grief due to the loss of a loved one by suicide. Grief work is always difficult, but the suddenness of suicide brings an added layer of challenge to the healing process.
I took it from a training years ago, but in grief work I often say, “We expect old, sick people to die.” Losing older people or those who are sick is heartbreaking; however, it is more expected. When we lose someone to suicide, we have all of the grief that comes with death, along with shock, anger and confusion, just to name a few emotions. We have questions about the person who is gone. Questions that can never be answered. And we may experience enormous guilt that we “did not recognize how badly they were suffering.” All of these emotions and reactions are completely normal, yet none of them are easy to process or navigate.
If you have lost a friend or family member to suicide, you need support. Processing your thoughts and feelings with a trained psychotherapist will support your healing. A therapist can educate you about normal responses to suicide and grief and help you find ways to heal and make meaning.
Not only have I provided grief therapy, I have personally seen the pain of friends I have watched lose those they love to suicide. In the weeks and months following the deaths, my friends were sad, angry, confused and self-blaming. They wanted to understand what leads a person to choose suicide and also find out how to help prevent more loss in the future. I watched them boldly do the work of processing their own grief and then work on learning about mental health and the need for those of us in society to be better informed about those who suffer and see no way out.
If you are experiencing grief in the wake of a suicide or are struggling with any other mental health issue, we can help. We provide individual and couples therapy. Please contact Life Enhancement Counseling Services today at 407-443-8862 to begin your path to healing.