A Word for Survivors

The grief process for survivors of suicide (those who are left behind after a friend or a loved one completes suicide) is as difficult as any other loss with the added challenges associated with common feelings such as confusion, guilt, despair, disbelief, and anger. Some things for survivors to remember are:

  • Each person experiences grief in their own way and at their own pace.
  • You may feel overwhelmed by the intensity of your feelings but that all your feelings are normal.
  • Take it one day at a time. You may start to feel more “normal” as your intense emotions settle down. If emotions return like a tidal wave, you may only be experiencing a remnant of grief, an unfinished piece.

Survivors of suicide can find immense benefit in coming together with each other to feel less alone in their grief, to feel support from individuals who share a similar sense of loss, and to remember the loved one who was lost. Groups of survivors may choose to meet informally and infrequently to access this support, or they may choose to have a more ongoing and formally-led group process environment. Both the University Counseling Center and the Office of the Chaplain are able to offer support specifically for anyone grieving the loss of a loved one.