The death of a loved one by suicide can be a deeply destabilizing event. Suicide often creates a ripple effect, causing loved ones to feel grief and confusion over the event and the loss of their loved ones. This confusion can manifest in nervousness about sharing one’s story, which could delay the healing process.
Recently, Laguna COO Marlon Rollins commented on the nature of grief and healing from a loved one’s suicide. Following International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day, Rollins reflected the suicide of his sister, the feelings of loss and grief that followed, and on how individuals in similar situations could start healing.
A Reflection on Loss
The loss of a loved one to suicide can cause a great deal of grief. Oftentimes, people experience perceived guilt, feeling as if they bear some responsibility in their loved one’s suicide. Questions like “How did we not know?” or “How did we not see the signs?” may be omnipresent.
“Many survivors feel partly responsible when a loved one commits suicide,” Rollins wrote in an op-ed for psych central. Rollins lost his sister to suicide several years ago. He detailed how survivors of suicide often face grief that “is compounded by the stigma and shame that often” accompany suicides.
Many who experience the suicide of a loved one may feel that they would not receive sympathy for a death by suicide. This mindset could prevent survivors from healing.
A Reflection on Healing
While the grief over the loss of a loved one to suicide may appear insurmountable, healing is possible. But healing is only possible if you allow yourself to heal. In his op-ed, Rollins detailed five ways to begin healing.
How to Heal from a Loved One’s Suicide
- Find a safe space to talk about your feelings.
- Know that there’s no formula for grief.
- Find a community.
- Celebrate milestone days.
- Learn about depression, addiction, and mental health.
“Remembering our loved ones lost to suicide is critically important in the healing process,” Rollins wrote, “It’s important to know that you deserve to heal.”
Further, if you or a loved one is struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts, know that you aren’t alone. There are several online resources and hotlines to get help. Start by calling 1-800-273-8255 to find help today.