Support After Suicide

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Living with grief

The experience of bereavement following a suicide can be intense and overwhelming. You may experience a wide range of feelings and thoughts which are difficult to understand and to manage.

Here are some activities, which may be helpful:

  • Develop a resource list, phone numbers of people and places to contact when the going gets tough.
  • Talk to a trusted person who will listen with understanding to your thoughts and feelings
  • be with people you are comfortable spending time with in conversation or in silence.
  • Eat a healthy diet, frequent small amounts of nutritious, easily digested food
  • Light exercise can assist by using up excess adrenaline
  • Use physical nurture, massage, spa baths, early nights, and get some fresh air by going for short walks
  • Avoid increased use of alcohol, smoking, prescription medication and other drugs.
  • Avoid too much coffee and tea to help you sleep at night.
  • Collect information, read simple books about surviving suicide, or about grief and trauma, when you are ready
  • Spend time alone to think, remember, pray, meditate, mourn.
  • 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
  • Prioritise daily tasks, do only what is essential
  • Use voicemail to screen phone calls; 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
  • Find distractions, to provide time out from the pain
  • Keep a journal to record your thoughts and feelings, especially if you are unable to sleep
  • Spend time with nature
  • Review photos and mementoes
  • Visit the burial site or some other special place
  • Rearrange and store the person’s belongings, when you are ready to do this
  • Spiritual searching of self
  • Gardening
  • prepare for special days and holidays with your family/friends. Christmas, birthdays and anniversaries can be difficult times. Plan a visit to the cemetery, light a candle or maybe spend some time at the person’s favourite place.
  • Find ways to honour the life of the person who has died
  • make resolutions for new and renewed directions in your life and in the life of your family.
  • Individual counselling or a support group
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