I know some of you find this site, and this post, after searching the terms, “Suicide Tips” on the Internet.
STOP & READ THIS!
I lost two friends to suicide. I know what it is like to be heartbroken from loss. I also was once very depressed and suicidal. I spent years wanting to die. This blog post was written to help people who lost a loved one to suicide. You will find supportive information for those in mourning. You will not find tips on how to kill yourself. I BEG YOU TO GET HELP! You may think no one cares about you, but I do. I care!
Update Fall 2013
For a free download of my e-book, Suicide Sucks, a resource for survivors of suicide loss, click here.
SOS – Survivors of Suicide (Loss)
In the last week, I’ve spoken with a few fellow survivors of suicide. A fellow survivor named Cathy lost her boyfriend a mere three weeks ago. My heart goes out to you, Cathy. You are not alone.
In an effort to reach out and help Cathy (and others), I decided it was time to post a list specifically geared to help survivors of suicide.
The term SOS explained
For those of you not familiar with the term survivor of suicide – let me explain the meaning. First, I will explain what the phrase does not mean. Survivor of suicide is not used to describe a person who attempts suicide but does not complete the act. Rather, the term describes loved ones left behind to mourn after the tragedy of suicide.
In my article, Suicide: Part 1 – Facts & Warning Signs, I stated “It is estimated that each suicide intimately affects at least 6 other people (the Survivors of Suicide) and up to 100 people that is anywhere between 200,000 and 3 million American affected each year.”
Suicide changes millions of lives. MILLIONS of lives…
Meet Iris Bolton
Iris lost her son to suicide in 1977. She has been instrumental in pioneering a counseling movement to support bereaved families after a death by suicide. Iris is Director Emeritus at The Link Counseling Center in Georgia, she earned a Master’s degree in suicidology, wrote a book called My Son…My Son: A Guide to Healing After Death, Loss, or Suicide (I just received a copy of this book in the mail yesterday) and is the author of the list titled 25 Tips for Survivors of Suicide.
Even though I am a survivor of suicide, Iris has many more years of experience and education relating to this issue. I felt her list would offer the most insight and wisdom to survivors.
I have not had the opportunity to meet Iris, although she kindly allowed us to publish her Tips for Survivors of Suicide here at Giggle On.
Thank you Iris for reaching out to help a fellow survivor like me and for allowing me to publish your list for the benefit of others. I hope to have the opportunity to meet you in person!
25 Tips for Survivors of Suicide
- 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 your feelings are normal.
- Anger, guilt, confusion, forgetfulness are common responses. You are not crazy-you are in mourning.
- Be aware you may feel appropriate anger at the person, at the world, at God, at yourself.
- You may feel guilty for what you think you did or did not do.
- Having suicidal thoughts is common. It does not mean that you will act on those thoughts.
- Remember to take one moment or one day at a time.
- Find a good listener with whom to share. Call someone if you need to talk.
- Don’t be afraid to cry. Tears are healing.
- Give yourself time to heal.
- Remember the choice was not yours. No one is the sole influence in another’s life.
- Expect setbacks. Don’t panic if emotions return like a tidal wave. You may only be experiencing a remnant of grief, an unfinished piece.
- Try to put off major decisions.
- Give yourself permission to get professional help.
- 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.
- Steer clear of people who want to tell you what or how to feel.
- Know that there are support groups, which can be helpful, such as The Compassionate Friends.
- Call on your personal faith to help you through.
- It is common to experience physical reactions to your grief; i.e. headaches, loss of appetite, inability to sleep, etc.
- The willingness to laugh with others and at yourself is healing. [Giggle On!]
- Wear out your questions, anger, guilt, or other feelings until you can let them go.
- Know that you will never be the same again, but you can survive and go beyond just surviving.
SOS Meetings in Delaware
The Mental Health Association of Delaware sponsors SOS (Survivor’s of Suicide) meetings in the state.
SOS Meetings outside of Delaware
Remember, Don’t Give Up! Find a Way to Giggle On!