On the last post we shared how the bereavement process after losing someone to suicide is challenging as it is so sudden and people are left hurt with so many questions.
In our society there is so much superstition surrounding suicide that the bereaved do not even know who turn to for help. Here are a few do’s and don’ts if you find yourself around people who lost a loved one to suicide.
Do not let the fear of not knowing what to say or the fear of saying the wrong things make you distance yourself from the bereaved.As so many times because of the stigma that comes with suicide some families find themselves isolated or alone.
However, never ask if the deceased said something or left a suicide note unless someone opens up to you. Such questions might come out as insensitive or maybe they just do not want to talk about it and you are out here prying. Instead of asking for explanations and answers ask them how are they are feeling.
Because where I know that our society is highly superstitious but that’s not the case for other people. When you are family or a friend to someone who lost someone , do stay close through the whole process and even way after the funeral and everything is done. This is because so many families are left to deal with things on their own when it’s a time they need all the support they can get even it means just sitting with them. Some people want to be left alone to deal with things and even in that case do reach out and check on them.
Reassurance does not work all the time. There are certain words or phrases that are used when people are in morning. “He/she is in a better place now” , “it will get better” . Be very careful with how you use these words because at the end of the day the one who just lost someone is feeling a certain that only they can explain. It might feel like you are helping but on the other end it could feel like you are not acknowledging their pain or you are simply dismissing it.
Be ready for uncertainty as even if you have been around someone who lost their loved one to suicide, people mourn differently. Whatever your religion and the religion of the next person do not try to over impose or share what religion say about death or suicide.
I can not stress this one point enough. If for whatever reason the family or spouse of the deceased decided to keep the cause of death a secret and you somehow find out , do not ever question then as to why they kept it a secret from everyone. Mind your own business and trust me you will die a happy chap.
Trying to find the right words for someone who is grieving the loss of a loved one is hard despite the circumstances. I will emphasize again that with suicide comes more challenges in the bereavement process. When you can not find the right words to say talk about seeking help, things like joining a support group or talking to someone who has been through the same ordeal or simply seeking professional help. Mind the way you say it as depending on your relationship some might feel attacked as it could be a suggestion that they are losing it.
When you seek professional help the therapist can support you in many ways, including these:
Helping you make sense of the death and better understand any psychiatric problems the deceased may have had
Treating you, if you’re experiencing PTSD
Exploring unfinished issues in your relationship with the deceased
Aiding you in coping with divergent reactions among family members
Offering support and understanding as you go through your unique grieving process
At the end of it all remember to be kind as each and everyone of us is fighting their own battle. Remember to spread the love and the light.