Suicide leaves a trail of excruciating pain and emotional chaos.
“You may feel that you are going crazy. Tears come unbidden. Some friends and acquaintances drift away. There is anger, and guilt about the anger. You may question your faith. Chronic health problems may flare up.” These are some of the facts of life after a death, from Bereavement and Support by Marylou Hughes, LSCW, posted on the website Suicide: Finding Hope.
Connecting with others who have been torn by suicide is the first critical step in surviving the loss of loved one in devastating and often incomprehensible circumstances. Finding a therapist specifically trained to work with survivors of suicide, or perhaps a therapist who experienced such a loss, is another path toward healing.
Avenues for support will spotlighted during National Suicide Prevention Week from Sept. 8 -14, and especially on Sept. 10 during World Suicide Prevention Day, with the theme “Suicide Prevention: One World Connected.” The focus on suicide offers an opportunity for therapists, community groups and the bereaved to share understanding and find ways to prevent more tragic deaths.
They say you’re not really gone
That you live on inside me
My new silent partner
Witness to empty days
And restless dreams
But I say – that’s not enough
I want you here. I want you now.
That’s part of the poem Enough by Marion Waterston, who lost her husband to suicide when he was 47, and then 16 years later, lost her son to suicide when he was 19. The poem is on the website Suicide: Finding Hope.
“Suicide itself is a traumatic loss, but many of the people left behind are the people who have discovered the bodies of their children or husbands, wives, sisters or brothers,” said Ronnie Walker, founder of Alliance of Hope for Suicide Survivors. “We see many people who talk about wanting to join their loved ones, that their pain is so bad they don’t want to go on.”
One place for 24/7 support is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. To connect, or help someone connect, is to begin the healing process.