Suicide Survivor Support
When a loved one dies by suicide, grief is unique. Many people find it helpful to name the feelings associated with their loss.
We have learned through our experience that feeling each phase of grief is normal. One phase doesn't end and another begin. The phases of grief will come and go as you think about your loved one. The KSF Suicide Survivor Support Group meetings focus on the grief phases and your journey with them.
The following list of emotions can accompany the grief of suicide survivors:
Shock/denial - I can't believe it and I feel numb
Frustration - I can't understand why my loved one died by suicide. I see other alternatives, and I am haunted by the unanswered questions surrounding the reason for the death.
Anger - I feel angry at the deceased, at myself, at other people, at God, at the world.
Rejection - I feel abandoned by the suicide. I am deeply hurt that my loved one wanted to die more than wanting to be with me.
Isolation - I want to tell the rest of the world to leave me alone. I seem so unorganized and disoriented, and I don’t care. Just being with other people is overwhelming.
Depression - I realize all that has been or will be lost. I experience unusual sadness and helplessness. I have little or no motivation. I can’t eat or sleep.
Guilt/shame - If only I had, or had not. I feel like a failure as a parent, a spouse, a friend. I am embarrassed by the suicide. I experience regrets.
Lonliness - I feel forgotten and alone. No one understands what I’m going through.
Searching - I start to read, talk, seek advice, encouragement and help from others. I am looking for answers.
Assimilation - The negative feelings become less intense. I am slowly beginning to participate in life and enjoying some things again. I find some consolation from the special memories of my loved one.
Empathy / Caring - I know there will always be times of grieving, and I know how hard it is to go through this. But maybe I can help someone else through their grief.