If you have recently been impacted by the suicide of a loved one, you probably have many questions coming to your mind. There are conflicting emotions that are surfacing, and you’re not sure how to untangle them all to begin processing everything.
Suicide grief is a complication to the normal grieving process. This isn’t to say the grieving process of someone impacted by a natural death isn’t challenging, but there are likely fewer conflicting emotions that are changing the grief journey. When grieving a person who died by suicide, you will find additional barriers to overcome.
Barriers To Overcoming Your Grief
With any grieving journey, there are many barriers you must overcome to process your grief. Many things can act as triggers for our grief to reappear, even if you thought the pain was mostly gone. A holiday can come along and you begin to think about how this is the first special event without your loved one. Almost like picking at a scab, holiday grief can reopen emotional wounds you thought were healed.
With suicide grief in particular, there are some specific obstacles you may need to hurdle that you wouldn’t otherwise, such as, if they left a note or not.
A lot of people think that a note left would help give some closure to the bereaved, but this is not the case in many instances. Even if they left a note, questions can still pop into your mind like the following:
- Well, if they were clear headed enough to write a note, why couldn’t they think through this before they acted so drastically?
- Why were they only thinking of themself?
- Didn’t they know they were loved?
- Why couldn’t they pick up the phone and tell me?
Questions like this are a huge barrier to the grieving process. It is important to understand that asking these questions, you will never find your answers. It violates our basic human survival instincts; it will never make sense to you. It’s okay to ask yourself these questions in the beginning and acknowledge your pain and feelings of betrayal or anger, but you need to find peace and understanding in the fact that you will never have your answers.
How To Cope With Suicide Grief
A strong relationship with God will help you in your time of need. There is peace in having a strong relationship with the Lord, and what will also help is a strong support system of other godly people who understand what you are going through.
Finding a member of your church’s congregation who has also lost someone to suicide can be beneficial to your grief journey, or even joining a faith based grief group. Finding people who understand exactly what you’re feeling is immeasurably helpful!
If you are looking for learning materials regarding suicide or holiday grief for your church’s grief groups, please get in touch with us, and take a look at our catalog of learning materials for churches!