Author: Racheal Mosimann
September is National Suicide Prevention month. Because of this, it is important to open conversations about suicide and the effects. Like other types of loss, losing someone to suicide can be one of the most challenging events to go through. Suicide is not only the loss of a life. It is the loss of a family member, a friend, a loved one. It can often feel as though we lost a piece of ourselves.
While losing a loved one is painful for most people, there is something especially hard about losing someone to suicide. Lack of information and stigma can make it more difficult for someone to understand. It is not uncommon for people to struggle spiritually or religiously after losing a loved one to suicide. People often find themselves wondering if there is anything they could have done differently or at all. Know that it is never anyone’s fault.
Know that you are not alone. Almost 46,000 lives were lost to suicide in 2020. It is a leading cause of death in the United States. Everyday families, friends, coworkers, etc experience losing someone to suicide. While it is one of the most difficult events to go through, there is support and resources for those that have lost. Some resources include:
- Shawnee County Suicide Prevention Coalition
- To Write Love on Her Arms
- Alliance of Hope for Suicide Survivors
- Friends for Survival
- Parents of Suicides and Friends & Families of Suicides (POS-FFOS)
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
There is no right way to grieve the loss of a loved one, as we are all unique and we all experience hardships different. One person might need time to themselves to process, while the other might need more outside support from loved ones. Both of these are normal ways to cope with grief. Each person is entitled to manage their own grief in the way that is useful for them.
The question then arises of, “How can I cope with my loss in a healthy way?” Like experiencing grief, how one copes with grief can also be unique to the person. It can become easy to utilize unhealthy coping mechanisms to deal with loss. Some healthy ways of coping with losing someone to suicide would be:
- Opening up about your emotions
- Acknowledging you’re grieving
- Staying present in the moment
- Allowing yourself to have fun and be happy
- Seeking support
- Taking care of yourself physically
- Being patient with yourself
Losing someone you love can be one of the most painful life events you go through. It is okay to grieve on your own time in your own way. It is also okay to need support as you grieve. If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, please reach out to:
Valeo Behavioral Healthcare Crisis Center
400 SW Oakley Ave. Topeka, KS 66606
Valeo’s 24-Hour Crisis Number:(785) 234-3300
Call or text 988 Suicide and Crisis Line