This is something very personal from my life, which might help some of you out there. It is not a topic most people want to or are willing to talk about.
One of the main reasons they don’t want to talk about it is that people who lose a loved one or a friend through suicide feel ashamed because they believe it was their fault.
I lost my father thirteen years ago. He committed suicide in our home and my sister found him.
I was the last person who talked to him before he ended his life.
It was a horrible experience – the most horrible experience ever – which I don’t wish anyone to experience in their life.
Note: The following is my experience. If you need help, know someone who is suicidal or needs help coping with a loss, please get help!
I got help but it took me some time to learn the following (this is my experience) as a person who lost a family member:
1. You cannot stop them if they are serious about it
You cannot stop the other person if they really want to commit suicide. They will find their way and you could try helping them or doing whatever; If they are serious about it, nothing or nobody can stop them.
They probably won’t tell you that they want to end their lives. They are not seeking help, they want to end it. They will probably make sure that nobody can find them or stop them.
I had no clue that this was the last time ever I would talk to my dad, and I’m very good at reading people.
I also had a friend in my teenage times who was constantly saying for a while that she wanted to kill herself. She wanted attention and she got it. Everyone talked to her, comforted her and she was the center of attention. She still lives a (hopefully) happy life.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take it seriously if you know someone who is talking about suicide. Find help for you and for them if they let you. There are hotlines you can call.
They definitely need some kind of help if they are talking about it.
2. It’s not your fault!
The most important part: It‘s not your fault and you don’t have to feel guilty about it.
You will for a long time but don’t think about what you might have done wrong, said or if it’s your fault. It’s not!
It was their decision and as hard as it is to experience this, they wanted to end their life for whatever reason.
They didn’t end it to punish you. They were only thinking about themselves because they had no other choice (in their situation and in their mind).
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3. Being angry and blaming is part of the healing process
If at any point you’re getting angry and blaming them for what they have done to you: It’s normal and it’s part of the healing process and it’s okay. You’re processing the loss.
They didn’t want to hurt you and they love you. It was not about you.
How to deal with someone who lost a familiy member or friend through suicide
If you know someone who lost a family member or friend, know that there is no certain way how they grieve.
Listen to them if they want to talk about it. If they want to talk about it with you it’s a sign of deep trust because at the beginning they might feel ashamed of this situation and they blame themselves.
If they can’t talk about it sit quietly next to them,
or leave them alone if they need to process it quietly.
But don’t give them this horrified look or pity. That’s the last thing I needed or still want if someone asks me about my dad.
For me it was very important to see him to say goodbye and a part of me wanted to see him to believe that this was actually true. It helped me a lot to process what happened because I couldn’t believe what happened when my sister came to my room and told me what happened.
But every person is different and reacts differently.
Feel free to share it if you know someone who is dealing with suicide in their family or with friends who lost someone.
Recommended for you: Read my book Soul-Led: How to Follow Your Inner Compass to an Incredibly Fulfilling and Happy Life