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Surviving the Suicide of Someone You Love

By Elvira G. Aletta, Ph.D.
November 21, 2009

My brother’s childhood best friend committed suicide. I was 16 years old at the time, Mark (not his real name) was 21. Mark’s parents were close friends of my parents; we played together as little kids, he was my first crush. We drifted apart as we grew up. Mark was a Kennedy-esque figure to me, handsome and smart. Everyone expected great things when he went off to an Ivy League law school. Then he was dead.

I have a vivid memory of walking around the neighborhood with Mark’s brother at night. The adults were sitting shiva and he had to get away. Suddenly he grabbed a fallen branch and wailed it on the trunk of a tree. Raw anger.

This family did heal. Before support groups or national days of recognition they talked about the conflicting emotions pain, anger, guilt. The same tape kept playing in everyone’s head:
If only… If only… They used therapy, the love of family, friends and good works, to find their way through. They found a way to forgive. 

Today is National Survivors of Suicide Day. Around the country there will be gatherings, rallies for awareness and support.

If you suspect someone you care for is thinking of suicide tell them out loud that you are worried for them and ask if they have thought of harming themselves. Get over your fear of offending them and imagine if they are dead tomorrow, will you regret not asking? If the answer is yes, then follow the guidelines provided by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. You won’t regret it.

via WBFO Surviving After Suicide of Family Member

http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2009/11/21/surviving-the-suicide-of-someone-you-love/

 

Dealing with Grief and Loss

Kathryn Patricelli, MA Updated: Nov 13th 2009

When a national tragedy like what happened at Fort Hood occurs, there are a large number of people who have grief and loss feelings that they must deal with going forward.  This can include those directly involved, as well as those who have had other losses in the past, particularly from a similarly violent situation, where there can be a re-emergence of grief feelings.  People affected can also feel grief over the loss of feeling secure and safe in their workplace and homes on the base.

Some of the resources in our Grief and Bereavement Center may be helpful if you or someone you love is dealing with a loss.  We include information on:

Grief being a normal and natural process
Stages of grief that people can experience (Kubler-Ross, Rando, Horowitz)
Symptoms of grief
Coping with your grief
Understanding when grief is complete
Helping other adults cope with grief
Helping children cope with grief and what to tell them
Cultural and Religious/Spiritual Implications of grief
Understanding pathological grief
Additional resources regarding grief and loss

To view those materials, click here.

In a violent tragedy like this, there can be more than grief and loss that people have to deal with.  There can also be the traumautic feelings of those who witnessed the incident, those who were injured but lived, and those close to all involved.  In those situations, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder can develop.  You can find additional information and resources about that in our PTSD topic center.

http://www.mentalhelp.net/poc/view_doc.php?type=doc&id=33816&cn=58



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