Bereavement, or extreme sadness over a loved one’s death, is a normal part of mourning. Those left behind are the ones who suffer, whether grieving a death from natural causes, illness, an accident, or suicide. If you are dealing with a suicide-related loss, it is likely you are feeling a range of emotions, including grief, shock, and anger. Help yourself through this trying time with the following tips from Sondra Sexton-Jones, MS, CT. The licensed counselor has proudly served the Juneau, AK, community for over 25 years. Work through feelings of bereavement in some healthy ways listed below.
Support From Family & Friends
Stay in contact with family and friends during this difficult time. Express how you are feeling rather than ignoring it; dismissing your emotions will not make them go away. What it will do is make them worse over time and potentially lead to self-destructive behavior. Remember that your loved ones are also affected by the loss, and that listening to and supporting one another is more important than ever.
Individual Therapy & Family Counseling
Seek individual or family counseling to work through the feelings of guilt, anger, and shame often experienced by suicide survivors. Be honest during your counseling sessions, and don’t fixate on what you could have done to prevent it. Trying to understand why a loved one took his or her life is always difficult, but keep in mind that depression changes brain chemistry.
Time for You
Make time for yourself when grieving a loved one’s suicide. Take walks on nice days, go to the movies, read, treat yourself to a massage, learn to meditate, write in a journal, play games, or do whatever helps you relax and feel good—it does not mean you are “over” your loved one’s death. It simply means you are learning to accept your feelings and live your life.
Work with Sondra Sexton-Jones during this time of healing. The renowned therapist provides both individual therapy and family counseling, and specializes in grief and loss. She is a member of the Association for Death Education and Counseling, the American Counseling Association, and the American Society of Suicidology, and has personal experience with suicide. Schedule a bereavement session with the grief counselor today by calling (907) 586-3313 or by visiting the website. Like the therapist on Facebook for more helpful tips.