An S-O-S friend posed a question of what various ways have survivors found to help cope with the grief, and I'd really like to hear from the rest of you, some of the things that have worked for you.  What are the most helpful ways you have found to help comfort, encourage, renew hope, and stabilize your thoughts and emotions?

Here are a few of the things I've tried recently...

     ...I went to a really wonderful suicide postvention conference recently, and I met other survivors, made a few new, meaningful friendships, and received some helpful resources.  I have felt more or less stronger lately, but these last couple days the grief has rolled back in, more so.  One never knows from day to day how it's going to be.  I was notified through my Facebook of notices of new entries to Charles' online memorial guestbook, and I guess it was reading what friends wrote about their time with him as foreign exchange students that triggered me today.

     I don't have the secret to coping figured out, unfortunately.  But I imagine I'm probably doing what can be done.  Someone at the postvention conference told me what his mother told him after her husband/his father died by suicide: Just keep putting "one foot in front of the other."  Simple, but profound, given our circumstances.

     I do stay busy, and that helps.  However, it is impossible to stay busy enough to block the thoughts, memories, grief, etc.  At those times, I just cry, and talk to Charles, and talk to God about Charles, and tell my fiance when he comes home from work the truth about how I felt that day, and he is a champion when it comes to talking me through my confused painful thinking times. So, I guess that is my current remedy for coping.  Oh, and I plant flowers in a garden, and with my fiance's insistence, I make a point of getting outside every day.  Once I am out, I have noticed my disposition often improves, even if it is just for a drive.  If he comes home and I'm still in my bedclothes, he will tell me to go get dressed b/c we're going on a drive!  And I have recently started to write down my thoughts in a journal, especially any breakthrough moments I experience.  Because those encouragements often fade as quickly as they come to me, so I want to be able to revisit them when I need my vision or hope renewed.  The last thing that has brought more meaning into my life is the question I ask myself about how I can use this tragedy for good.  I don't know how yet, but I am seeking answers to this question.  Life has become more precious to me since Charles died.  I am trying to "make meaning" out of it all.  I feel pretty determined that good should somehow come from all this loss and pain.

     Please write and let me know what you are doing to cope with your loss, and how that works for you.



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Comment by Theresa Sweaney on January 31, 2012 at 4:21pm

Gathering and Sharing Insight.

I have read everything I can get my hands on to learn all I can about mental illness, brain disorders, suicide, etc.  Knowledge seems to help me work through things.  And hearing a lot of personal accounts of other peoples' losses has helped too... it helped to normalize my own experience.  I didn't feel so alone in my loss.  I saw that there are many who suffer and have the same issues and questions in common.  I see how we all struggle to one degree or another by the why's and what if's and if only's, so then it becomes that much easier for me to extend forgiveness to myself for things I did or didn't do.  I come to accept my humanness and imperfection more easily as I offer those words to others…touching on the most recent thing that has helped me, and that has been to reach out to others in their pain, with words of encouragement and assurances for a better life ahead than what we could envision at the start of our grief journey. 

Comment by Theresa Sweaney on August 20, 2011 at 3:37pm
Comment by Laurie on June 19, 2011 at 6:09pm


I lost my beloved son 16 monthes ago what a good question! how do I cope I don't. I try to think about how wonderfull of a son I had for 22 years. When my mind starts going back to his last year fighting cancer I change my thoughts to the happy times. as I look back at the past year I know God has me in his arms, I could not do this without him. I am still angry he took Our Children.

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