- Ask for help. Don't be afraid to ask the people closest to you for what you need, even if what you need is space.
- Don’t expect to just “get over it.” When a loved one dies by suicide, you may experience a lot of emotions all at once — shock, guilt, confusion or even anger. These are all normal thoughts and emotions. Be patient with yourself as you cope and grieve. The grieving process takes time. Loss is not something you “get over.”
- Talk about your grief. Work to recognize the things you can handle on your own and those you can't. You may want to contact your installation's chaplain, military and family life counselor or Military OneSource to connect with a non-medical counselor. You may find yourself searching for the right professional to talk to, and that’s OK.
- Get the support you need. You don’t have to grieve alone. If you find that friends and family in your support circle have their own issues to attend to, mental health professionals, suicide loss support groups, faith communities and the military community can lend you a helping hand. Don’t hesitate to reach out for help.
- Find resources available to you. The Days Ahead provides resources and advice for coping with the loss of loved ones. You can also reach out for bereavement counseling through the VA.
- Prepare yourself for well-meaning but thoughtless comments. It is not uncommon for well-intended people to say insensitive things like, “At least they are not in pain anymore.”
- Take care of yourself. Do your best to give your body what it needs. Sleep, eat healthy food and exercise as you can.
- Seek immediate help if experiencing complicated grief. You will never be completely over the death of your loved one; however, your grief should become less intense as time passes. If you do not feel better over time or your grief is getting worse and your pain is so severe it keeps you from living your life, you may be suffering from "complicated grief." There is a difference between grief and depression. If you are experiencing the following symptoms, talk to a professional grief therapist or counselor right away:
- Intense guilt — blaming yourself for your loved one's death
- Thoughts of suicide or your mind is preoccupied with dying — feel like life isn't worth living or feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness — wish you had died with your loved one
- Inability to function — unable to perform your normal activities at work, home and/or school.
Other resources for all of us…
The source of above which also has Parenting after Suicide: https://www.militaryonesource.mil/health-wellness/mental-health/suicide/helping-you-and-your-family-survive-a-suicide
This site has videos : https://maketheconnection.net/conditions/suicide
https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ >> National Suicide Prevention Line 800.273.8255