Grief After Suicide

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Know that you can survive, even if you feel you can't.

Intense feelings of grief can be overwhelming and frightening. This is normal. You are not going crazy; you're grieving.

Feelings of guilt, confusion, anger, and fear are common responses to grief.

You may experience thoughts of suicide. This is common. It doesn't mean you'll act on those thoughts. However, if you begin to feel like you may, ask for help or call 911.

Forgetfulness is a common, but temporary side effect. Grieving takes so much energy that other things may fade in importance.

Keep asking "why" until you no longer need to ask.

Healing takes time. Allow yourself the time you need to grieve.

Grief has no predictable pattern or timetable. Though there are elements of commonality in grief, each person and each situation is unique.

Delay making major decisions if possible. Selling a home, car, cashing in on policies, moving, quitting a job, etc. are all things that should be avoided if possible.

The path of grief is one of twists and turns and you may often feel you are getting nowhere. Remember even setbacks are a kind of progress.

This is the hardest thing you will ever do. Be patient with yourself. Seek out people who are willing to listen when you need to talk and who understand your need to be silent.

Give yourself permission to seek professional help.

Avoid people who try to tell you what to feel and how to feel it and, in particular, those who think you should "be over it by now."

Find a support group for survivors that provides a safe place for you to express your feelings, or simply a place to go to be with other survivors who are experiencing some of the same things you're going through.

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