I have written a lot about what suicide is, why people commit suicide and how to help someone contemplating suicide. I am now going to write about dealing with the effects of someone you know committing suicide. Suicide is a complicated thing to understand, I think we may never fully understand it.
My brother passed away by suicide on January 19, 2009. It has been really hard to deal with since he committed suicide. No one even knew he was depressed. As far as it appeared he was one of the happiest people you have ever met. He always had a smile on his face. He always had nice things to say about people. He was always able to find good in others. He was someone everyone loved he came in contact with. He loved his wife and kids and his extended family. He loved gardening with his wife and kids, fly fishing, playing the trumpet and spending time with family.
When my brother passed away we were all left with why? That question never gets answered even if a note is left behind. You go through everything you can think of to come up with a why and in all reality no one ever knows the real reason to why someone does that. You go through a denial period, where you do not accept the fact that the person has passed away. You do not want to believe it as it is too painful. It can feel like a dream, not real. It is o.k. to feel this way it is part of the healing process.
You can also go through an angry phase. You might be angry at the person for doing it, God, someone else for letting it happen, yourself, etc. There are many reasons you might feel angry. This is also a part of the healing process and is o.k. to feel this way. The third phase of grief you can go through is bargaining. You can beg, wish and plead for them to come back. The 4th phase of grief you might go through is depression-overwhelming feelings of hopelessness, frustration, bitterness, self pity, mourning loss of person as well as the hopes, dreams and plans for the future. Feeling lack of control, feeling numb. Perhaps feeling suicidal. The 5th phase of grief is -Acceptance-there is a difference between resignation and acceptance. You have to accept the loss, not just try to bear it quietly. Realization that the person is gone (in death) that it is not their fault, they didn't leave you on purpose. (even in cases of suicide, often the deceased person, was not in their right frame of mind) Finding the good that can come out of the pain of loss, finding comfort and healing. Our goals turn toward personal growth. Stay with fond memories of person.
All of these phases are important to go through as they are all part of the healing process. Do not expect to go through these phases as it will take time. It can take 1-2 years to even get to the point of acceptance. Everyone is different as they experience things different. Always remember the person who left you by suicide does love you, they were not in their right mind when they committed suicide. They were feeling very dark feelings and felt they could not make it another minute.
It is possible to make it through someone committing suicide as I am here today to testify of that. I have been suicidal myself and gone through the effects of someone committing suicide and recieved the help I needed and am here today to tell about it. It has been a very long and hard journey but one worth sticking around for. Do not be ashamed of any of the feelings you go through, let yourself go through them just make sure to work through them not focus on them. Get counseling as it is a lot to take in and deal with. Make sure to get any help you may need and recieve the support from loved ones around you.