This information is adapted from
Hope and healing: A practical guide for survivors of suicide, an Alberta Health Services resource.
Suicide is a traumatic event. If you’ve lost someone to suicide, you may feel numb and in shock for many weeks or longer. The feeling of shock helps to protect you from the pain of what's happened.
You may find it hard to think clearly, forget things, or find you can’t stop asking, “Why?” These reactions are normal, as are other strong feelings such as:
Sometimes people who've lost someone to suicide have suicidal thoughts themselves.
If you’re thinking of suicide, there is help. Call 911 or the Canada Suicide Prevention Service or go to your local emergency room.
There are things you can do to help yourself cope with grief after a suicide:
It can be hard to speak openly about suicide. But it’s important to tell friends and family what happened. They can help each other cope with their grief and help you work through yours. Sometimes, you might say something as brief as, “Their death was a suicide and I just can’t talk about it yet, “or “They died by suicide.”
You may feel confused at first and find it hard to cope—let other people help you. Ask your friends, family, place of worship, community, and others for support. They can deal with callers and help make funeral and other plans. They can also be there to simply listen.
Talk to a healthcare provider if you're:
Help is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week:
Current as of: March 22, 2021
Author: Provincial Injury Prevention Program, Alberta Health Services
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