Coping with Grief

The experience of bereavement following a suicide can be intense and overwhelming. There may be a wide range of feelings and thoughts which are difficult to understand and to manage. Here are some activities, which may be helpful.

  • Find ways to look after yourself.
  • Spend time alone to think, remember, pray, meditate, mourn.
  • Talk to a trusted 'other' who will listen with understanding to your thoughts and feelings
  • Develop a resource list, phone numbers of people and places to contact when the going gets tough
  • Find distractions, to provide time out from the pain
  • Collect information, read simple books about surviving suicide, or about life enhancement, when you are ready
  • Use physical nurture, massage, spa baths, early nights, and get some fresh air by going for short walks
  • Keep treasures, a memory box, journal, photo album
  • Create a memory book for family and friends to write stories, memories, messages
  • Create or build a special memento for your loved one: a garden, a CD or DVD, photo album
  • Eat a healthy diet, frequent small amounts of nutritious, easily digested food
  • Exercise to use excess adrenaline
  • Prioritise daily tasks, do only what is essential
  • Use an answering machine, choose who you will talk to
  • Write notes to relatives and friends when you need to tell aspects of your story, or to express feelings
  • Keep a journal to record your thoughts and feelings, especially if you are unable to sleep
  • Spend time with nature
  • Review pictures and mementoes
  • Visit the burial site or some other special place
  • Rearrange and store the person's belongings
  • Individual counselling or a support group
  • Spiritual searching of self
  • Gardening
  • Find ways to honour the life of the person who has died