Beatitudes for Survivors After Suicide
BLESSED are they that recognize suicide grief is compounded; that we grieve the death of a beloved person, but first and foremost, we grieve the cause of the death.
BLESSED are they that give us permission to mourn the loss of one dearly loved, free of judgement, censure, and shame.
BLESSED are spiritual guides who relieve our concerns for the repose of our loved one’s soul with the truth that God is All-Knowing, All-Loving, and All-Forgiving.
BLESSED are they that don’t offer the meaningless cliché, “Time Heals,” because, for a long while, the passing of time holds no meaning or value for us.
BLESSED are they that don’t say, “I know just how you feel” but instead say, “I am here for you. I will not tire of your tears or your words of sorrow and regret.”
BLESSED are they that have the patience and love to listen to our repetitive obsession with WHY? without offering useless answers or explanations.
BLESSED are they that reaffirm the worth of our deceased beloved by sharing memories of his/her goodness and times of fun, laughter, and happiness.
BLESSED are the mental health care providers who explain to us that, very probably, our loved one died of a terminal illness called depression.
BLESSED are they that challenge our sense of omnipotence with the reminder that no one has enough power or control over another to cause them to end their life.
BLESSED are the first responders to our loved one’s suicide who try to relieve our sense of guilt and responsibility by assuring us, “This death is not your fault.”
BLESSED are they that lend acceptance to the value of the relationship we shared with the one who died by allowing us to speak of them and “what might have been.”
BLESSED are they that allow and encourage us to use our loved one’s death in a manner that gives our loss and grief meaning and purpose.
BLESSED are they that do not expect us to find “closure,” “grief resolution,” “recovery,” or to “be healed,” understanding that these terms define “grief work in progress” that will take the rest of our life.
BLESSED are community caregivers who direct us to suicide bereavement support groups where our anguish is understood, our loss validated, and where we are encouraged by the example of others who have travelled this road before us.
BLESSED are ‘seasoned’ suicide survivors who role model that not only can we survive, but, in time, we can thrive…we can regain peace of mind, restored confidence, renewed productivity, and a revived zest for living.
BLESSED are all who honour our loved ones by remembering how they lived rather than how they died.
by LaRita Archibald
Books: Coping With Grief
The following are selections that may help you deal with the loss of a loved one:
Alexander, V. (1991) Words I Never Thought to Speak: Stories of Life in the Wake of Suicide
Chalifour, Francis (2005) After
Chance, S. (1997) Stronger than Death: When Suicide Touches your Life
Chilstrom, C. (1993) Andrew, You Died Too Soon
Collins, J. (2007) The Seven T’s: Finding Hope & Healing in the Wake of Tragedy
Farr, M. (1999) After Daniel: A Suicide Survivor’s Tale
Fine, Carla (1997) No Time to Say Goodbye: Surviving the Suicide of a Loved One
Gilbert, L. (2004) I might be Nothing
Hays, H. (2005) Surviving Suicide. Life Stories from Those Left Behind
Hartley, M. (1991) Breaking the Silence
Jamison, Kay Redfield (1995) An Unquiet Mind
Jamison, Kay Redfield (1999) Night Falls Fast. Understanding Suicide
Jordan, John R & McIntosh, John, L (2010) Grief after Suicide
Rando, T.A. (2009) Coping with the Sudden Death of Your Loved One.
Rando, T.A. (1991) How to go on Living When Someone You Love Dies.
Rappaport, Nancy ( 2009) In Her Wake: A Child Psychiatrist Explores the Mstery of her Mother’s Suicide
Ross, E. (1986) Life After Suicide – A Ray of Hope for Those Left Behind
Sackett, J. (2005) Goodbye Jeanine: A Mother’s Faith Journey after her Daughter’s Suicide
Shneidman, Edwin.S. (1998) The Suicidal Mind
Smolin, A. & Guinan, J. (1993) Healing After the Suicide of a Loved One
Stiller, B.C. (2000) When Life Hurts – a Three-Fold path to Healing (niece took her life – London, ON)
Survivors of Suicide, Inc. (2004) Recovering from Suicide Loss, A Self-help handbook for those Who Have Lost Someone to Suicide www.phillysos.tripod.com
Traff, C. (2004) The Calm Before the Storm: Recognizing when the Decision to Suicide is Made
Tremblay, C. (2003) Micah A father survives the suicide of his son.
Vanderbilt, G. (1996) A Mother’s Story
Wertheimer, A. (1991) A Special Scar, The Experiences of People Bereaved by Suicide
Wesner, S. (1999) Survivors of Suicide; A Support Group Leader’s Handbook
Wrobleski, A. (1991) Suicide Survivors: A Guide for Those Left Behind”
Books for Children
Silverman, Janis (1999) Help Me Say Goodbye. Activities for Helping Kids Cope When a Special Person Dies
Cammarata, Doreen (2000) Someone I Love Died By Suicide: A Story for Child Survivors and Those Who Care For Them
Some Resources you may find Helpful:
Survivor Advocate Listserve
To join, email SurvivorAdvocatesfirstname.lastname@example.org
Suicide Survivor Video
This one fine day 6 people came together and connected in a way that will last forever. These survivors of suicide loss each share their journey of grief through the loss of a loved one to suicide. It was most touching and inspiring to see so much hope that each survivor shares to all. A day of healing and coming together to share and reach out to others and say “you are not alone. You will survive this tragic loss” Please know these brave survivors are doing well since this day of remembering their loved one.
1 hour and 40 minutes.