Resuming Your Life after Grieving a Death by Suicide
People dealing with suicide grief may feel like their life has stopped. Losing someone can be deeply disorienting and regaining a sense of order can take time.
There are strategies for coping with grief. Some are particularly helpful in the short term while others are more useful in the long term. Each person moves at their own pace.
Absorbing the shock
In the first weeks after learning of a death by suicide, people who are grieving usually need strategies for coping with the shock.
Here’s some advice that can help.
How to get back on track after grieving a suicide
Gradually resuming your activities after losing someone to suicide isn’t always easy. But doing so can help you regain energy and feel better.
Here are some suggestions to help you get back on track.
Being open to new possibilities
Being open to new possibilities doesn’t mean forgetting the deceased. The person who is gone played certain roles and met certain needs (confidant, advisor, helper, source of support in hard times, etc.).
Those needs may still be important, even if the person who used to meet them is no longer there. Finding other ways to meet them can help.
Putting more emphasis on other relationships or investing in new ones
Grieving for a person you care about also means mourning the loss of their role in your life. At first it can be difficult to imagine that someone else might take their place, but accepting the idea can be helpful.
When you’re going through a difficult period, people who were less present may start to play a more important role in your life. Hardship can provide an opportunity to open up to others and make room for new people.
Finding meaning in your grief
Finding meaning in your grief might seem impossible or even shocking to consider, but there’s a time where it may become necessary in order to move forward.
Grief brings questions and doubts. Some of the questions can be answered, others cannot. In striving to live a satisfying life again, you may need to let go of questions that can’t be answered and take the time to find meaning in your grief.
Each person finds meaning in grief in their own way
There are many ways to find meaning in grief. Some people identify reasons why they should continue to live despite the death of a loved one. For example, they may engage in activities or a cause that’s meaningful to them. Others find an explanation for their loved one’s suicide or accept the fact that they’ll never be able to explain it.
Being open to change
Finding meaning in your grief may mean that things that were once important to you become less so, or that your values and priorities change. Being attentive to what makes you feel good and participating in activities that are consistent with your values and priorities can help you make room for things that contribute to your well-being.