A death in the family is nothing short of a shocking event. It takes a while, even a lifetime to recover from the invaluable loss. The sorrow is especially more profound for family members with whom the deceased spent his final moments.
To lose a loved one to suicide poses an incomparable amount of pain. One dimension of grief is never-ending guilt that they were not able to console them in their most vulnerable states given the physical proximity. Subsequently, life after could only be filled with ruminations about how the situation would have been had you known of your family’s personal struggles.
Bouncing back up from such a low point as to lose a loved one to suicide is never easy. The time it takes varies from person to person. But, here are ways you and the others left behind can healthily embrace the new reality:
Aside from aspiring to heal from the pain of his death, you want to remember your departed loved one for the good things he left during his life. These two are often best achieved by dedicating a memorial for him. It could be as simple as keeping his prized possessions in pristine condition and laid out as they were in his room.
To make a proper memorial of him through his room, have it deep-cleaned every so often. Change his bed linen and dust his furniture regularly. For cushioned chairs, you can have their upholstery cleaned.
Grieving is overwhelming in itself. There will be times when having many people, who only have the best intentions, around could lead you to feel more suffocated in negative emotions. You have to understand that this would be the case for your fellow family members too. And so, while you want to comfort each other when the wounds are still fresh, you should still give each other time to be with your own thoughts.
Solitude will allow you to process your emotions better. It will also allow you to plan for the things ahead and be reminded that, apart from your grieving self, other people still rely on your energy to continue living.
Support Each Other
In light of those times, your now-gone loved one found it difficult to approach either of you to vent out his sentiments, you and your family can practice looking out more for each other. This is more than just constantly popping caring questions to each other like ‘Have you eaten?’, ‘Do you need me to get you something from the grocery store?’, or ‘Did you sleep well?’. Your family may be firm believers of the saying that actions do speak louder than words, but, this time is perfect to be more vocal about your adoration for each other.
An emotion so profound is naturally very hard to express to your loved one. For some, this is so out of worry that these loving words are being said too frequently that they diminish in essence. But, as long as you are ever careful with the words you let out of your mouth before your loved ones, you could get over the dilemma.
Of course, it is challenging to see your family’s struggles from their perspective because you all have established unique life road maps. But, a matter of reassuring them that you are always a shoulder tap or a call away to support them already does a lot to uplift their otherwise defeated spirits. You may not perfectly understand how bogged down they feel given the adversities they are experiencing, but the thought that you acknowledge that they are trying their best to stay afloat and that they are brave for doing so could give them that much-needed morale boost.
The Event’s Lesson
Losing a loved one to suicide initially incites a feeling of frustration just as how you would feel for any unexpected event, that you never prepared for. As weeks or even months go by, this frustrated, unyielding feeling progresses into a tormenting phantom pain you wished would end but it’s easier said than done. These are all necessary things you go through, but ultimately you can emerge stronger.
From the loss, you will be reminded of what you are endowed with. For so long, you were distraught with such an unfortunate event. Now, you can see through the sorrow and take several major life lessons, one being that life is indeed short, even so, you hold the power of making the best use of the time you are given. Continue what your now-gone family member has started, be it the causes he supports or any plan that has to do with prospering the family.
Time will come when one and another event will piece itself together and will all make sense. The same is true for losing a person who is dear to you.