Grief as a result of suicide is a type of grief all on its own.
Alongside losing our loved one, there may be feelings of guilt, anger or shame associated with their death. The grieving process can be more complex and seemingly highjacked by a whole raft of emotions, thoughts and questions.
Has this really happened?
Will he come back next week?
Should I have noticed something was going on?
What could I have done to stop this?
How can I go on on my own?
Our questions may be endless and many may go unanswered. We may have to find a way to grieve around unanswered questions and we may have to learn to live with a certain amount of unknown.
We may also feel isolated and withdraw after experiencing a loss by suicide. We may feel a stigma attached to suicide and we may not be open with others about the reasons behind our loved one’s death. It may be that we invent other reasons for their death, wanting to avoid the questions or fear of judgement from others. We may also feel intensely frustrated and angry that our loved one has taken their life. We might not ever understand or even know the reasons for their death and it may be maddening to not be able to make sense of what has happened. Hopelessness and betrayal may also be experienced as we struggle to understand how we were not able to stop what has happened.
All of this and so much more may be common after bereavement by suicide but you are not alone. Finding a way out of such a confusing space and time is possible.