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  • Writer's pictureJeanne Chamness

Dealing with Grief Following Suicide

Jeanne Chamness featured on Keloland Living

(Jeanne Chamness is a Licensed Professional Counselor with Chamness Counseling. She’s joining us today to talk us through how we can handle the mix of emotions that come our way when dealing with a death by suicide.)

The death of someone you love by suicide can be one of the hardest things a person has to endure. It can be made more tragic when a loved one dies by suicide. Knowing the person chose to end their life can make the grieving process more difficult to understand.

It is important to let yourself grieve because if you don’t let it out, it is just going to build. The seven steps of the grieving process when you are dealing with the death of a loved one by suicide are:

  • Shock and denial

  • Pain and guilt

  • Anger and bargaining

  • Depression

  • Upward turn

  • Reconstruction

  • Acceptance and hope

Most people get stuck on the shock and denial stage because there is the element of surprise---you had no idea it was coming. The pain and guilt is a difficult place to get past because we all think we should have been able to see it. Anger is also another because sometimes we get angry at the person because they left, or they didn’t let you know they were suffering.

There are some resources that you can use if you aren’t able to get through this by yourself and are having a really hard time struggling with grief, guilt and all of the other emotions. Beyond friends and family, and faith leaders, counseling is a great place where you won’t be judged for how you are grieving. There are help line centers that gives a lot of information on how to survive the loss of a loved through the suicide, as well as a support group.

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