How to Accept the Suicide of Your Own Child

Опубликовал Admin
6-10-2020, 16:20
The loss of a child, especially if it is by suicide, is a devastating event. You may think there is no possible way to cope with such a thing. But as difficult as it is to understand at the moment, you can accept the suicide of your own child. You need to handle your feelings, begin to heal, and handle the practical matters.

Coping with Your Emotions

  1. Allow yourself to grieve. Although everyone experiences grief in different ways, everyone feels some form of depression, sadness, anger, disbelief, and loneliness after losing a loved one. When the death is because of suicide, you may experience the expected feelings of grief as well as other feelings, like guilt. Allowing yourself to have these feelings will help you accept the suicide of your own child.
    • It is normal to go through the stages of grief (for example, denial, shock, and anger). You may also feel guilt, shame, or confusion because your child died from suicide.
    • Don’t try to stop yourself from feeling these things. It is a part of the grieving process that you have to go through.
    • You may have some physical signs of grief, such as headaches, nausea, or nightmares.
    • These feelings may be unpredictable, and you may not always understand where they are coming from. Remember that these erratic feelings are a normal part of the grieving process.
  2. Practice mindfulness strategies. There will be times when you feel like your emotions are overwhelming you. Using mindfulness techniques can help you accept the suicide of your own child by helping you cope with the stress and anxiety of the situation.
    • Start by taking a few deep breaths. This will help you to calm down.
    • Close your eyes if you need to, then slowly inhale and exhale a few times.
    • Don’t try to stop how you are feeling. Just experience each emotion as it comes, without judgment.
  3. Start a journal about what you are feeling. Write in your journal daily to express your emotions and accept the suicide of your child. Use the journal as a place to express everything you are going through and feeling.
    • Write about your regrets and fears as well as moments of peace and acceptance.
    • Write about memories you have of your child that make you laugh, smile, or even cry.
  4. Try not to blame yourself or feel responsible for what happened. Your child’s suicide is not your fault. You may feel tempted to analyze every aspect of your child’s life and your own actions as a parent in an effort to understand what happened. It is normal to feel guilt after the suicide of a child, and to wonder if there was anything could have done to prevent it. However, if you find yourself thinking this way, remind yourself that you did your best, and that what happened is not your fault.
  5. Rely on those close to you. Your friends and family can do a great deal to help you accept the suicide of your child, so let them. Turn to them for help with everyday things, but also for help handling your feelings.
    • Don’t be afraid to ask someone to come and just sit with you. You can say, “I just need someone to be present with me right now.”
    • Tell someone close to you when things are going very badly for you. Talk to them about your feelings.
    • For example, you might say, “I’m really having a hard time accepting this right now. Can I talk to you about how I’m feeling?”
    • Talk to your spiritual or religious leader. They can offer you guidance and support during this time.
  6. Join a support group. Being around and talking to people that have also experienced the suicide of their child can help you cope with your own feelings. Their experiences, stories, and wisdom can help you accept the suicide of your own child.
    • Visit Bereaved Parents of the USA website at to find a support group in your area.
    • Turn to your support group when you are having an especially hard time coping.
    • If you can’t handle going out right now, join an online forum. My Grief Angels offer a directory of support groups on their website.
  7. Talk to a professional. Because the suicide of a child can be truly devastating, talking to a therapist, spiritual leader, or psychologist will help you accept the suicide of your own child.
    • Professionals can give you the support you need and provide other ways to help you accept the suicide.
    • If you witnessed the suicide or found your child’s body, you are likely experiencing additional trauma. Talking to a professional is definitely advised in this situation.

Beginning the Healing Process

  1. Take your time. Accepting the suicide of your own child and beginning to heal from it will not happen overnight. It will take time and you will have times when it seems you can’t get through it. Allow yourself time to grieve and take your time to work through the healing process.
    • Take some time off from your day-to-day responsibilities and use the time to focus on healing yourself.
    • Understand that there will be some days that you seem to be accepting the suicide, and other days that you can’t cope at all.
    • Take the healing process one minute and one day at a time.
    • Accept that you will probably never “get over” the loss of your child, but that you will gradually get better at managing your grief. Be patient with yourself and allow yourself time to grieve.
  2. Be prepared for triggers. There will be certain days that will trigger your emotions about your child’s suicide more than others. Emotions and feelings that you may have thought you had accepted may come back. For example, the anniversary of the suicide, birthdays, holidays, and other special occasions can all be triggers. You will heal better if you prepare for these times.
    • If possible, let the people close to you know that this may be a hard time for you and that you may need extra support.
    • You might say, “The anniversary of my son’s death is Friday. Would you mind coming to be with me then? It’s hard for me to cope on that day.”
    • You may want to do something special on this day to remember your child.
  3. Take time to remember your child’s life. After a suicide, it is easy to get caught up in thinking and talking about the suicide itself, what led up to it, and how it could have been prevented. Make sure you also take time to focus on and celebrate your memories of your child’s life, and think about all the things you loved and valued about them. Share happy memories with your friends and loved ones, and make an effort to remember your child in life, not just in death.
  4. Make healthy choices for your life. While you are grieving, you will likely experience changes in your appetite and sleeping habits. In addition, the emotional stress of accepting your child’s suicide can put physical stress on your body.
    • Avoid drugs and alcohol as a way of coping. Using substances will only make it harder for you to accept the suicide and may create problems for you.
    • Make an effort to eat healthy meals and snacks. Make sure you are drinking plenty of water, eating fresh fruits and vegetables, and getting other recommended nutrients.
    • Make sure you get enough sleep. Establish a regular bedtime routine, if you don’t have one already.
    • Get some physical activity. Doing things like swimming, walking, and working out can help you cope with the emotional and physical stress of dealing with your child’s suicide.
  5. Learn more about suicide. You will be better able to accept the suicide of your own child if you learn more about suicide in general. Educating yourself can help answer some of the questions that you have and help you heal.
    • You can find information about suicide from The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the Centers for Disease Control, and similar agencies and organizations.

Handling Day-to-Day Matters

  1. Ask for help with memorial arrangements. Although it is difficult, you will need to make arrangements for your child’s memorial. You can handle this best if you ask people close to you for help.
    • For example, you might say, “Could you help me with planning the memorial? I am overwhelmed right now.”
    • If possible, allow someone else to handle the majority of the arrangements. Handle only the parts that you are okay dealing with at the time.
  2. Ask for assistance around the house. You have a lot on your mind right now. It’s okay to ask your family and friends for help with household chores and errands. They want to help in any way they can so that you can accept the suicide of your child.
    • You could say, “Would you mind preparing a meal or two that I can freeze?”
    • Or, you could ask, “Could you take care of our dog for a few days? I just don’t have the energy.”
  3. Be honest when people ask what happened. It is natural for people to ask you what happened. They aren’t trying to be mean or insensitive, but want to know what happened so they can help. In addition, not being honest with people will keep you in denial and stop you from accepting the suicide.
    • Let people know that the phrase “committed suicide” isn’t used anymore.
    • Instead explain that the terms “died by suicide,” “died from suicide,” or “died of suicide” are used to describe this type of death.
    • Don’t feel you need to give a detailed account of what happened. Give only as much information as you think is appropriate or feel comfortable with.
  4. Take some time away. Coping with the suicide of your child will take time. You will probably need some time away from your responsibilities to accept what happened. Take some time off from work and focus on taking care of yourself.
    • Try not to stay in bed and allow your grief to overtake you. Go for walks or ask a someone to come keep you company.
    • Go away for a few days to some place that you find peaceful and calming.
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