That would be me. I actually really like that they refer to people like us as “survivors” because I definitely feel like it’s taken a heroic act to survive it. Sadly enough, I know A LOT of other survivors of suicide loss and we all get through it in our own way. Most people don’t know this day exists, and some others may wonder why it should.
I’ll tell you why. Because even though suicide prevention is my number one concern, the number of people affected by suicide loss is astronomical and tragic. The way it derails our lives and effects every single detail of it, is unimaginable, heartbreaking, and quite often destructive.
Here are just a few suggestions on how to support loved ones who’ve lost someone to suicide:
Use the loved ones name when talking to them.
Have patience with them as they go through the fear, grief, anger, shame and the effects of PTSD after such a traumatic incident.
Use sensitivity and reach out to them around holidays, anniversaries, and birthdays basically for the rest of their life.
Don’t give advice and say stupid shit like “everything happens for a reason, and at least now they are happy in heaven…”
Don’t expect them to be OK on your timeline, it will take years, decades and quite possibly a lifetime, in my case, to heal.
Don’t expect them to be the same, be ready for your relationship to change and adapt after this life-changing trauma. They may need you more than ever, even if they seem to shut you out.
If you really want to help them, take it upon yourself to learn how you can support them, and don’t expect them to tell you what they need.
Thank you to all who have supported me, never forget, and to my beloved son Cheyne:
I LOVE YOU FOREVER!