Emotions in Suicide Grief

Photo by Dee Peterson - copyright 2013 Dee PetersonThe emotions of suicide grief are endless.  By trying to include them all, we would inevitably forget some of them. Here are some of the major ones that people most often experience:

  • Guilt
    It’s very common for survivors to feel guilty after a suicide death, where people wonder what else they could have done, or what could have made the outcome different. The reality is that, although we believe we might think it had been different if we had done things another way, there’s no way of knowing that.  Guilt is an emotion that sometimes overwhelms people, but it’s one that needs processing to let go and realize that we did the best we could given the circumstances.
  • Blame/Anger
     What is there not to be angry about?  A loved one has left us.  We feel hurt and that manifests into anger.  As human beings, we have a tendency to look for someone or something to blame.  But we’re just trying to make sense of what has happened and why they left us.  Sometimes our anger and blame are misdirected and we hurt the people we care about the most. It’s OK to feel angry about the choice your loved one made to end his or her life.
  • The “Whys”
     One powerful place on this suicide journey is the asking of the “why?” question.  This can go on for a long time as we try to place all the puzzle  pieces together after the death.  The reality is that the person who died often took many of the pieces with them and we will truly never know why they ended their lives. But these questions are important to us as it is part of traveling this road of suicide grief.
  • Abandonment
     In suicide grief, abandonment can also be a very common emotion.  We feel like our loved one left and didn’t consult us. It is painful and difficult to be left in this world without them.
  • Loneliness
     Suicide grief is lonely.  We have to travel our own roads, even if we are part of a family or group of friends.  Our loved one is gone and we don’t have anyone to share the road with us. Our family members might not be in the same emotional place that we are and our friends might not understand.
  • Hope
     Along this journey that we call suicide grief, there is one thing that sustains us and guides us although much of the time it feels hidden from us.  Hope.  Hope keeps us moving forward and helps us to know deep down inside that one day we will feel good again. Each of us will define hope differently, but the most important part is that we know it’s there.  Isn’t hope what life’s ultimately about?For some of us, there is hope that we will see our loved one again in another life, while for others, it’s feeling the presence of our loved one in some way in our life. Yet for others, it’s the sense that we will find purpose in our lives again.

Ultimately, we must find our own way and our own hope and peace, but it’s there waiting for us to discover it.