This is copied from a support group from the Uk, it is something I think we can all relate too and I hope it helps.
Sue

The survivor of a suicide bereavement faces a stark choice … ‘it is up to you … to decide whether to be permanently hurt by the last act of a free individual or not … this option is YOURS’. (Lake 1984)

Know you can survive. You may not think so but you can.

Struggle with ‘why’ it happened until you no longer need to know ‘why’ or until you are satisfied with partial answers.

Know you may feel overwhelmed by the intensity of your feelings, but all these feelings are normal.

You may feel rejected, abandoned, share these feelings.

Anger, guilt, confusion, denial, forgetfulness are common responses. You are not going crazy; you are in mourning. Be aware you may feel anger, appropriate anger, at the person, at the world, at friends, at God, at yourself; it’s all right to express it.

•You may feel guilty for what you think you did or did not do. Remember the choice was not yours-one cannot be responsible for another’s actions.

•Find a good listener; be open and honest about your feelings.

•Do not remain silent – about what has happened our about how you feel.

•You may feel suicidal, this is normal, it does not mean you will act on those thoughts.

•Do not be afraid to cry, tears are healing.

•Keeping an emotional diary is useful as well as healing. Record your thoughts, feelings and behaviour. Writing a letter to the deceased expressing your thoughts and feelings can also be part of the healing process.

•Give yourself time to heal.

•Expect setbacks. If emotions return like a tidal wave, you may be experiencing ‘unfinished business’.

•Try to put off making any major decisions.

•Seek professional advice. Be aware of the pain of your family and friends.

•Be patient with yourself and with others who may not understand.

•Set your own limits and learn to say no.

•Ask questions, work through the guilt, anger, bitterness and other feelings until you can let them go. Letting go does not mean forgetting.

•It is common to experience physical symptoms in your grief, headaches, sleeplessness, loss of appetite etc.

•Know that you will never be the same again, but you can survive and even go beyond just surviving.
__________________

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Replies to This Discussion

Please allow me to pass on my sincere condolences for your loss.

I feel like I have a very long and endless road ahead of me today. My 16-year-old completed his suicide attempt on October 7, 2009. His remains were not recovered until a week later. I knew he was having problems, but WHY use this way to try to solve them?!? Today was especially bad because the feelings came out of nowhere. I fell apart. And, truthfully, all the resources in this world cannot keep the grief and feelings of loss away. This is a day that I will never, ever forget.
Hello again Sue,
I had just posted to you and read this, the advice is so good...and sometimes we forget that even after many years these things will almost seem to begin again. It is part of our lives, forever.
I believe being a survivor is key here and making the most of the 'one life' we have.

Thanks again,
P.j.
Paula Bluster said:
Please allow me to pass on my sincere condolences for your loss.

I feel like I have a very long and endless road ahead of me today. My 16-year-old completed his suicide attempt on October 7, 2009. His remains were not recovered until a week later. I knew he was having problems, but WHY use this way to try to solve them?!? Today was especially bad because the feelings came out of nowhere. I fell apart. And, truthfully, all the resources in this world cannot keep the grief and feelings of loss away. This is a day that I will never, ever forget.
Paula,
My heart goes out to you. You have my deepest sympathies. 16 is so very young and I can only imagine your pain. Your loss is so very new, I barely remember my first year. I can suggest a therapist or counselling, I can tell you that you are not alone, I can recommend seeing your doctor for the things you cannot control, I can offer you hope that will get past the immense pain you are in right now. What I cant tell you is what you already know...that you will never be the the same again. I know how horrible this is for you right now, if I can help in any way please let me know. Ive said it before and I say it again, it is with a very heavy heart that I welcome you here. Just keep breathing, and take it real slow.
Love Sue

Paula Bluster said:
Please allow me to pass on my sincere condolences for your loss.

I feel like I have a very long and endless road ahead of me today. My 16-year-old completed his suicide attempt on October 7, 2009. His remains were not recovered until a week later. I knew he was having problems, but WHY use this way to try to solve them?!? Today was especially bad because the feelings came out of nowhere. I fell apart. And, truthfully, all the resources in this world cannot keep the grief and feelings of loss away. This is a day that I will never, ever forget.
Sue,
I've just joined this site, so I'm not sure if I'm doing this correctly. I'd first like to say how sorry I am for all of the people that have posted here. The loss of a child or sibling or parent is something that is difficult to endure at best, but to lose that person to suicide is unbearable. I wanted to let you know that I needed to see this info that you posted for suicide survivors. I lost my son, Joey, to suicide on June 20, 2008. He was only 26 years old. My life has been changed forever. I don't know how the people who have lost someone so recently can even see straight, never mind find this site and start posting. I commend them. They are much stronger than I. I still cry every day and think about Joey constantly. I also have the same questions as everybody else; mainly, "why?". I guess I will never have the answers until I see Joey again. I can only hope and pray that he is in a better place than the one that he left behind and is not longer in pain. I only wish I knew and could have helped. The helplessness that those left behind feel is absolutely debilitating.
Debbie,
Let me first say how sorry I am for the loss of your son Joey. My mother lost her only son, I can relate but my loss was my brother. A mothers pain well, I can only imagine. I hope this post helps a little even if its just recognizing that what you "feel" now is normal in comparison. Yes it is a new normal tho. My loss is not recent however. I do know that when it was I had to reach out and find something,somwhere to talk about it.Surviving Suicide is a tough tough road. I landed at a forum (which is now gone) and poured my heart out. That and some support at home and visits to the doctor, helped to put me bck together. I hope this forum or another like it can do in part the same for others.Im so sorry any of us have to be here but am glad there is somwhere to be. With all that and more I welcome you.

Debbie said:
Debbie Polidora said:
Sue,
I've just joined this site, so I'm not sure if I'm doing this correctly. I'd first like to say how sorry I am for all of the people that have posted here. The loss of a child or sibling or parent is something that is difficult to endure at best, but to lose that person to suicide is unbearable. I wanted to let you know that I needed to see this info that you posted for suicide survivors. I lost my son, Joey, to suicide on June 20, 2008. He was only 26 years old. My life has been changed forever. I don't know how the people who have lost someone so recently can even see straight, never mind find this site and start posting. I commend them. They are much stronger than I. I still cry every day and think about Joey constantly. I also have the same questions as everybody else; mainly, "why?". I guess I will never have the answers until I see Joey again. I can only hope and pray that he is in a better place than the one that he left behind and is not longer in pain. I only wish I knew and could have helped. The helplessness that those left behind feel is absolutely debilitating.
Thank you-This was extremely helpful. Having lost my former husband in August of this year I am constantly seeking information and advice from survivors. Our two fifteen year olds are devastated and I am so concerned about them. They have so many questions as do I. I am afraid that they are holding so much in.
We have been on autopilot for the past few months but our situation still does not seem real. Thank you again for your post.
No problem TKF,
I wish there was a better word than sorry, but its the only word that conveys how I feel...Im sorry for your loss. Have you considered therapy for you/and the twins? Perhaps the guidance councillor? 15 is a real tough age to get to want to do anything, but it may do everyone a world of good. The boys may not feel too comfortable to share all their feelings with Mom but perhaps someone impartial? Just a thought. Im sorry too for You and your loss of him. Ex does not necessarily mean you stopped caring and at one time cared/loved him very much..I really do hope this post helps or guides people in their grief even if its just a little.
Thankyou,Sue

TKF said:
Thank you-This was extremely helpful. Having lost my former husband in August of this year I am constantly seeking information and advice from survivors. Our two fifteen year olds are devastated and I am so concerned about them. They have so many questions as do I. I am afraid that they are holding so much in.
We have been on autopilot for the past few months but our situation still does not seem real. Thank you again for your post.
My daughter and I have been in counseling. My son went once and refuses to return. I am actually a Counselor myself for school aged students but feel so helpless in this personal situaion. You are correct in the EX comment. I did look back at my post and wondered if I had something relating to your comment. I am curious as to how you got there. We were actually together for 25 years-since we were kids in college. I took care of him our entire lives and once I stopped he could not do it independently. I stopped because he would not get help and I made the decision to try and save 3 of us when in fact most days I feel as if he is still going to take all of us down. I dissolved the marriage 2 years ago and he moved to an apartment less than 5 minutes from our home. He was a kind, compassionate, giving, selfless person who suffered w/ depression for years. He had difficulty in terms of employment and finally saw gambling as an out. It is ironic to me that he lived his life most unselfishly and in the end I feel that his final act was extremely selfish to those of us left to pick up the pieces. My level of guilt is so extreme that it is difficult to function. Although I know it was HIS choice to end his life and never seek help, I can't help but wonder if he could have hung on if I had not taken the one thing from him that did make him feel good and he was proud of-his family. I realize that all of the what-if's are pointless now but how can you not play out different scenarios in your head? Our hearts are broken and even after almost 4 months the tears won't stop as they are flowing as I write.
I can't get the vision of finding him out of my head as well as the next 18 days of staying by his side while he was in a coma-changing hospitals for a second opinion and then on to the final hospital where I lay w/ him as he took his last breaths......The pain is unbearable but I WILL remain strong for our children and continue to pray that small things get us through the long days and nights. He was a wonderful Dad and we have great children. I will pray for strength to finish the job we started of raising our beautiful children. I know that finding this site has been a Gift from above as it is comforting to know and understand that there are others who have experienced the same type of tragedy and do Survive. Thank you for your time.
Sue,

Thank you for the posting.
TKF,

i am so sorry that you have to make all the decisions, and many might see you are fully responsible for all of those choices you made. There are nothing you can do on saving him after you have tried so many years. I agree with Sue's post, no one is responsible for the others' life and action. You are a very strong person because you both together for 25 years, depression eats many life away sometimes the one around them.

My dear lover took his own life a month ago, and he texted me love and final goodbye while he was doing it. Calling 911 or his family to save him all came down to me, i didn't call anyone. That's something i will have to ask myself the rest of my life, " why i didn't call ?"

TKF said:
My daughter and I have been in counseling. My son went once and refuses to return. I am actually a Counselor myself for school aged students but feel so helpless in this personal situaion. You are correct in the EX comment. I did look back at my post and wondered if I had something relating to your comment. I am curious as to how you got there. We were actually together for 25 years-since we were kids in college. I took care of him our entire lives and once I stopped he could not do it independently. I stopped because he would not get help and I made the decision to try and save 3 of us when in fact most days I feel as if he is still going to take all of us down. I dissolved the marriage 2 years ago and he moved to an apartment less than 5 minutes from our home. He was a kind, compassionate, giving, selfless person who suffered w/ depression for years. He had difficulty in terms of employment and finally saw gambling as an out. It is ironic to me that he lived his life most unselfishly and in the end I feel that his final act was extremely selfish to those of us left to pick up the pieces. My level of guilt is so extreme that it is difficult to function. Although I know it was HIS choice to end his life and never seek help, I can't help but wonder if he could have hung on if I had not taken the one thing from him that did make him feel good and he was proud of-his family. I realize that all of the what-if's are pointless now but how can you not play out different scenarios in your head? Our hearts are broken and even after almost 4 months the tears won't stop as they are flowing as I write.
I can't get the vision of finding him out of my head as well as the next 18 days of staying by his side while he was in a coma-changing hospitals for a second opinion and then on to the final hospital where I lay w/ him as he took his last breaths......The pain is unbearable but I WILL remain strong for our children and continue to pray that small things get us through the long days and nights. He was a wonderful Dad and we have great children. I will pray for strength to finish the job we started of raising our beautiful children. I know that finding this site has been a Gift from above as it is comforting to know and understand that there are others who have experienced the same type of tragedy and do Survive. Thank you for your time.
TKF
I know that many people feel as you feel that suicide is a selfish act. In many respects that is true,however to a suicidal person it is the ultimate sacrifice. Anger is natural, its not a stage Ive reached personally but lots do. I figured my brother suffered enough,how angry at him could I be in comparison to how angry he was with himself.He punished himself,theres not much more I could add to that....or want to.
I got there because if you didnt care so much you wouldnt be here. Also an ex love of mine has been missing since 1997. He has been on my mind a great deal and weighs heavy in my heart. I was his first love. I ran into his sister, the mom and her have moved to my town. Skeleton remains were found in 2003. She thinks its him.I scrummaged thru my box of old love letters and pictures looking for info for his family. See they need adult dental records for comparison.The sister had hoped I knew who Mikes dentist was. I found something which may help..god I hope so. Anyway, I visted the sister who brought out a binder of all the info she had. In it pictures of remains found..man this is hard..I believe I looked at the scull of the man whos face I loved for so many years.She thinks he committed suicide. His father did when Mike was 12. Mike has issues when we were together, I couldnt save him, I had to save myself. I left and moved on..but he always remained with me, which is why I held on to those love letters all these years almost 20 now. I believe I can relate. There is more but I just wanted to explain "how I got there". I wish you peace in your journey with this. I wish none of us had to be here. Time helps and talking helps. I created a memorial of sorts for my brother. It was theraputic to me. Gathering pictures,writing about him. I saw a doctor for the things I could not control. I hope you know that it will get easier,and time will turn this pain to a dull ache...but you will forever be changed by this.I feel so sorry for thos that "find them". I understand that eventually that image softens or is replaced by good ones. I hear that from others who have survived. I can only imagine.
My heart goes out to you..
Sue

TKF said:
My daughter and I have been in counseling. My son went once and refuses to return. I am actually a Counselor myself for school aged students but feel so helpless in this personal situaion. You are correct in the EX comment. I did look back at my post and wondered if I had something relating to your comment. I am curious as to how you got there. We were actually together for 25 years-since we were kids in college. I took care of him our entire lives and once I stopped he could not do it independently. I stopped because he would not get help and I made the decision to try and save 3 of us when in fact most days I feel as if he is still going to take all of us down. I dissolved the marriage 2 years ago and he moved to an apartment less than 5 minutes from our home. He was a kind, compassionate, giving, selfless person who suffered w/ depression for years. He had difficulty in terms of employment and finally saw gambling as an out. It is ironic to me that he lived his life most unselfishly and in the end I feel that his final act was extremely selfish to those of us left to pick up the pieces. My level of guilt is so extreme that it is difficult to function. Although I know it was HIS choice to end his life and never seek help, I can't help but wonder if he could have hung on if I had not taken the one thing from him that did make him feel good and he was proud of-his family. I realize that all of the what-if's are pointless now but how can you not play out different scenarios in your head? Our hearts are broken and even after almost 4 months the tears won't stop as they are flowing as I write.
I can't get the vision of finding him out of my head as well as the next 18 days of staying by his side while he was in a coma-changing hospitals for a second opinion and then on to the final hospital where I lay w/ him as he took his last breaths......The pain is unbearable but I WILL remain strong for our children and continue to pray that small things get us through the long days and nights. He was a wonderful Dad and we have great children. I will pray for strength to finish the job we started of raising our beautiful children. I know that finding this site has been a Gift from above as it is comforting to know and understand that there are others who have experienced the same type of tragedy and do Survive. Thank you for your time.

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