Today we publish the final article from Boyle Family Resource Centre in the series “Suicide Prevention” :
When a loved one dies by suicide
The death of a Loved One creates great pain and sadness whatever the cause.
However when a loved one dies by suicide, the aftermath can shatter the things Loved Ones take for granted about themselves, their relationships, and their world.
Suicide is a death like no other, and those that are left behind to struggle with it must confront a pain like no other. Suicide is not a deathbed gathering; it rips apart lives and beliefs, and it sets its survivors on a prolonged and devastating journey.
Suicide Bereavement is the deep sadness and mourning that occurs after the loss of a loved one to suicide. While grief is a normal response to losing someone important to us, when someone dies by suicide a person may experience a complicated form of grief caused by a combination of sudden shock, unanswered questions of ‘Why?’ and feelings of ‘What could I have done?’
Individuals go through the shock, deep sadness and occasional anger felt by people bereaved in other ways but at the same time, may also have to cope with extra emotions such as guilt, shame and self blame. They may also find themselves plagued by thoughts of ‘what if’ and ‘if only’. One person described it as ‘grief with the volume turned up’.
Many people feel even more pain and emptiness several months after the death. The tasks of planning the funeral and dealing with financial and legal matters are complete. Friends and family have offered their sympathy and then needed to get back to their lives. Be prepared for this and reach out for help when you need it.
Families & friends may never know the answer to, “Why?” Many times people mistake a “triggering event”, such as a relationship breakup, for the “cause” when, in most cases, the person was in extreme emotional or physical pain for a long time. As loved ones work through their grief they will gradually learn to live with questions that cannot be answered.
Roscommon Suicide Bereavement Liaison Service is a Postvention service dedicated to providing professional support and assistance to individuals families and communities bereaved by suicide. The service is free and funded by the HSE National Office for Suicide Prevention. The Suicide Bereavement Liaison Officer is based in Boyle Family Resource Centre & Vita House Family Centre but can also meet individuals / families in their own home or at a location that is most convenient to them.
As time goes on, people may find it helpful to talk to others who have experienced the death of a loved one by suicide. The healing power of a shared experience is very strong and talking to others who have lost someone to suicide can help individuals work through their own grief.
For more information on the suicide bereavement support group in your area please contact Sinéad Raftery – Suicide Bereavement Liaison Officer on 085 7407856 / 090 66 25898 / 071 96 63000 or [email protected]
Grief never ends… But it changes. It’s a passage, not a place to stay. Grief is not a sign of weakness, nor a lack of faith…It is the price of Love