Some Guidance

What Do I Do Now?

It’s important to remember that you can survive the pain. There may be times when you don’t think it’s possible, but it is.

Here is some guidance from fellow survivors:

  • Some survivors struggle with what to tell other people. Although you should make whatever decision feels right to you, most survivors have found it best to simply acknowledge that their loved one died by suicide.
  • You may find that it helps to reach out to family and friends. Because some people may not know what to say, you may need to take the initiative to talk about the suicide, share your feelings, and ask for their help.
  • Even though it may seem difficult, maintaining contact with other people is especially important during the stress-filled months after a loved one’s suicide.
  • Keep in mind that each person grieves in his or her own way. Some people visit the cemetery weekly; others find it too painful to go at all.
  • Each person also grieves at his or her own pace; there is no set rhythm or timeline for healing.
  • Anniversaries, birthdays and holidays may be especially difficult, so you might want to think about whether to continue old traditions or create some new ones. You may also experience unexpected waves of sadness; these are a normal part of the grieving process.
  • Some survivors find comfort in community, religious, or spiritual activities, including talking to a trusted member of the clergy.
  • Many survivors use the arts to help them heal, by keeping a journal, or writing poetry or music.
  • Try to take care of your own well-being; consider visiting your doctor for a check-up.
  • Be kind to yourself. When you feel ready, begin to go on with your life. Eventually starting to enjoy life again is not a betrayal of your loved one, but rather a sign that you’ve begun to heal.
Owensboro Regional Suicide Prevention Coalition, Inc.
Owensboro, Kentucky

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