- Seek out caring people. Find relatives and friends who can understand your feelings of loss. Join support groups with others who are experiencing similar losses
- Express your feelings. Tell others how you are feeling; it will help you to work through the grieving process. The question why, with or without a suicide note left by your child, will haunt you for months or even years as you strain to gain understanding of the dynamics of this suicide. As you search for answers, read about suicide, evaluate what you read, and apply what you have learned. You will examine your life and coping techniques, which is also a natural part of any bereavement. The why will grow less urgent
- Take care of your health. Maintain regular contact with your family physician and be sure to eat well and get plenty of rest. Be aware of the danger of developing a dependence on medication or alcohol to deal with your grief
- Accept that life is for the living. It takes effort to begin to live again the present and not dwell on the past
- Postpone major life changes. Try to hold off on making any major changes, such as moving, remarrying, changing jobs, or having another child. You should give yourself time to adjust to your loss
- Be patient. It can take months or even years to absorb a major loss and accept your changed life and you have to be patient with others, but especially with yourself
- Seek outside help when necessary. If your grief seems like it is too much to bear, seek professional assistance to work through your grief. It is a sign of strength, not weakness, to seek help.
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Surviving the suicide of a child - How do I move on?
Coping with a child's suicide strikes a blow that leaves the parent asking many questions and arouses an overwhelming sense of injustice. The parents may feel responsible for the child's death no matter how irrational that may seem. Parents may also feel they have lost a vital part of their own identity. Suicide is the eighth leading cause of death in the United States, ahead of both homicide and AIDS, according to the Bereaved Parents of the USA.
The key to finding peace is to eventually find some kind of meaning in what feels like a senseless disaster. Parents who found meaning reported less mental distress, happier marriages, and better physical health than parents who hadn't made sense of their children's death.
Where do I find the help I need to acquire this peace? Coping with death is vital to your mental health. It is only natural to experience grief when a loved one dies, so the best thing you can do is allow yourself to grieve. And coping with a child's suicide will leave you asking questions that no one else would ask regarding any other kind of death, whether a loved one or friend. There are many ways to cope effectively with your pain: