How do I deal with the pain of suicide loss?

Donaleen Saul stands in the woods, after

First, understand that your pain is natural and understandable. Your loved one was very likely in great pain, and now, so are you and other loved ones. You need to take extra care of yourself now. Spend time with people who care about you and aren’t trying to fix you. Spend time in places that bring comfort. Take care of your health – you’re going to need it to get through this.

It’s natural for some of us to withdraw in such times, but it’s usually best if you don’t keep your pain to yourself. You may want to see a counsellor who specializes in grief issues. If you don’t know of any counsellors, ask for a referral from your doctor. If you don’t have a doctor, talk to a trusted elder, family member, teacher, coach – whoever’s willing to listen to you.

 After a traumatic event like this, it’s not uncommon for things to go sideways with people who are close to us. Suicide is a difficult subject for pretty well everybody. And not everybody responds to grief and trauma in the same way. Some people need to cry and talk about it. Others prefer to retreat into silence. Still others roll up their sleeves and busy themselves with projects and activities. There is no right way to get through this unbelievably tough time. You will suffer less if you give yourself and others a lot of space to walk this rocky road in the way that feels best to you and to them.

You don’t have to walk the rocky road alone. Through my book, Did You Know I Would Miss You? I will take you by the hand.

“I lost my sister to suicide. Did You Know I Would Miss You? really helped me. One of the many things it gave me was an opportunity to focus on my sister’s whole life, not just the final act.” Jim Stanton, Media Consultant