Finding hope after the suicide of a loved one
This archived article was written by: Angel McRae
It is estimated six million Americans became survivors of suicide in the last 25 years. According to the American Association of Suicidology,” a survivor of suicide is a family member or friend of a person who died by suicide.”
Utah ranks 15 in suicide in the United States according to the numbers released in a report by [McIntosh, J. L., and Drapeau, C. W. for the American Association of Suicidology in 2012s U.S.A. suicide 2010: Official final data. Washington, DC: American Association of Suicidology, dated Spetember 20, 2012, downloaded from www.suicidology.org.]
Utah reported 17.1 percent rate of suicide with 473 deaths. “Here in Carbon and Emery counties the suicide rate is averaging about one a week which is a lot higher than the national average,” said USU Eastern’s Director of Counseling & Disability Resource Center Darrin Brant. “The numbers can be deceiving due to the difference in the legal definitions of suicide between local, state, and federal agencies.”
The loss of a loved one to suicide leaves survivors grief stricken and struggling to answer the question “Why?”
The grief following suicide doesn’t always follow a timeline or move in a forward direction. Survivors experience self blame, shock, denial, hopelessness, and depression in addition to a mirad of other feelings.
Many times suicide survivors experience guilt and shame because they feel that others blame them for the death of their loved one. This same guilt and shame can be embarassing for those left behind.
What is most damaging for the survivor is a hesitation to reach out for assistance coping and dealing with their loss. Seeking professional help and support can be very instrumental durring a survivors bereavement process.
Suicide is associated with stigmas, ignorance and uncertainty. The social stigmas make it diffucult to talk openly about the effects of suicide leaving those wishing to provide comfort and aid to survivors at a loss of how to respond.
Hiding the feelings associated with the loss of suicide exacerbates and complicates the greiving process. It is extremely important for survivors of suicide to take care of themselves in the days, weeks and months following a suicide.
There is no right or wrong way to mourn the death of a loved one. Some survivors find that support groups can be very helpful. Interacting with other survivors of suicide who are further along in the grieving process can bring a sense of hope and peace.
IF you find yourself or someone you know needing help or just needing to talk things out Director of Counseling & Disabliltiy Resource Center Darrin Brant or another USU Eastern staff member will hook you up with the tools and resources you need.
If you are thinking of hurting yourself, or if you are concerned that someone else may be suicidal, call the National Suicide Prevention Life line at 1-800-273-TALK (8255)