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Old 02-09-2010, 07:32 AM #1
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Default Caring For Survivors of Suicide

"When someone you know loses a loved one to suicide you need to give him/her enough room to grieve, but not so much room that he/she feels abandoned or shunned. If you withdraw, for whatever reason, our absence will be noticed. Such distance may not be easily forgiven or forgotten.

Keep in mind that the person who is grieving a suicide death will very likely need more support over a longer period of time than someone who has lost a loved one from natural causes. Although a survivor of a suicide will experience similar grief reactions as those associated with other types of loss, (feelings of shock, denial, helplessness, anger, guilt, etc.) the grief reactions to a suicide are often exaggerated. This is primarily due to the violence, suddenness of the trauma, and social stigma attached to the act of suicide.

Compassion, acceptance, and understanding are key elements in caring. A nice way to give your attention, time, and sincere encouragement is to simply ask, "How are you doing?" and then be 'present' with the person. Your time & willingness to listen are gifts."...

--Vicki Westrich SOS Support Group/Emergency Services
April 1997 SOS Newsletter Dane Cty
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Old 02-09-2010, 09:19 AM #2
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Thank you Alffe...A family friend hung himself a couple days ago... his funeral is today.... Its a private family graveside funeral. I feel so bad for his wife. It IS different when a person dies because of suicide. She is so ashamed. I was talking with her last night and she said everybody is avoiding her now... sigh....
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Old 02-09-2010, 11:16 AM #3
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I'm so sorry Vicky.. I know that you will instinctively be there for her. Did he leave children behind? I know that you will also encourage her to talk about her husband. She'll need people who are willing to listen to her...no matter how many times she repeats herself...
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Old 02-10-2010, 01:12 AM #4
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Default Sorry for your friends loss

I know this situation unfortunately from both sides as I have come close to death twice but a little less than a year ago I lost my youngest son who was 32 to suicide. Once the I finished up with the first part of dealing with his death and what he left behind, I returned to my home to deal with his death all on my own.

I still do not believe that I have fully grieved for him and it is impossible for me to think about, write or talk about Steven without crying. Everyone was asking the why and it did not matter he was gone and knowing that why would not bring him back to me. I was grateful for the email from all of his friends and the out pouring of love for him on facebook.

Please whatever you can do to just let her know that you are there and will be there for her as time goes on will without a doubt be most appreciated.
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Old 02-10-2010, 07:07 AM #5
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putterfit I am so sorry about your son Steven. Our son Michael was 31 when he suicided...it was 20 years ago last month, we managed to go on but our family was forever changed. Less than a year....that really isn't very long on this seemingly endless grief journey.

Are you able to concentrate enough yet to read? There are a couple of excellent books that may help you through some of this...My Son, My Son, by Iris Bolton and Tear Soup. Is there a support group (Not Compassionate Friends) near you? Talking heals us...and a support group for survivors of suicide will offer you the opportunity to share Steven's life with others who know what you are going through...and no one there will ask you why.....we all ask ourselves why until we understand that there is no answer to that question.

Our Nik-key here, is on her second year of losing her Dad to suicide. She too, will be able to identify with the tears you shedd.

I'm so glad you posted.
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Old 02-10-2010, 06:38 PM #6
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Putterfit... I'm sorry about Steven too.... I have already bought several "thinking of you" cards, "praying for you", "let's do lunch" etc...... I guess what really makes me angry about all of this is her and her husband was very active in their church and she said the minister didn't want to do his funeral so thats why they decided on a private family graveside funeral.... Needless to say she is changing churches....
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Old 02-11-2010, 04:17 AM #7
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"The minister didn't want to do his funeral" Words fail me!!

TG we didn't have that to contend with when Michael completed suicide.
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Old 02-11-2010, 02:54 PM #8
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It's that kind of a minister that drives people away from organized religions.
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Old 02-16-2010, 09:37 PM #9
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putterfit..............

talk when you can...share what you want/,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

David
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Old 02-20-2010, 12:37 PM #10
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I got a long email from my former neighbor today...she is coming up on the 2nd anniversary of her son's suicide and said, looking back she cannot believe that she has cried every day for two years. I thought of your post putterfit... She said they cannot bare to watch the olympics as her son was so into snowboarding and it was too painful a reminder.

Addy I'm so glad you didn't hesitate to get yourself some immediate help.
We have to reach out..we have to save ourselves at times.
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