Losing a loved one is always devastating, but losing someone to suicide is particularly hard. If someone you love has died by suicide, you may experience very conflicted feelings, with intense grief accompanied by shock, anger and even guilt. You might also feel stigmatized and isolated.
It’s important to care for yourself during this time.
- Don’t cut yourself off from other people. This is the time to reach out for comfort and understanding. Surround yourself with people who are compassionate and willing to listen, and just sit in silence if you can’t bring yourself to talk about it. Having a strong support system is an important part of the healing process.
- Make sure you’re getting adequate sleep and eating well. It’s easy to feel lost in your grief and neglect the everyday things you need to do. Maintaining a healthy sleep schedule and nutritious diet will help you stay well during this stressful time.
- Consider a support group. Even if you have loving and supportive friends and family members, talking to people who have experienced a similar loss can be very helpful. By sharing stories and talking about coping methods, you can give each other support and strength.
- Don’t rush yourself through the grieving process. You’ve suffered an unimaginable loss, and it will take a while to work through the pain. Don’t let anyone’s expectations of how long it “should” take weigh on you, and be prepared for setbacks. Know that certain days such as holidays, birthdays and anniversaries might make the pain feel fresh again.
- Understand that everyone grieves in their own way, and don’t let anyone tell you what you “should” feel or do. There’s no right or wrong way to grieve, so do what’s right for you. Allow yourself to feel whatever you’re feeling, and if some things are too painful right now, such as sharing details about the death or visiting the gravesite, wait until you’re ready.
If you are grieving a loss and need to plan a funeral or memorial, Chapel of the Chimes Oakland is here to help. We care for families of all faiths, traditions and cultures, striving to honor each life and meet each family’s unique needs. To learn more, call us at (510) 379-5200or schedule a tour here.
We can also help give you peace of mind knowing your own end-of-life arrangements will be carried out as you would want. Use our free preplanning guide can help to get all your details written down in one place, and spare your family from having to deal with the 100+ decisions and demands for information that must be handled immediately after a death. Click here for your free guide.