Thursday, June 14, 2018

Suicide Aftermath

This past week, the media has covered two suicides of well-known people – Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. Both were extremely sad and my heart breaks for the family and friends of these people.

I know there has been a lot of information about suicide prevention and how we need to be aware of the signs of depression in case a family member exhibits suicidal tendencies.

Yet, I haven’t seen a lot about the families and friends that are left behind. Those are the ones we need to take care of at this time too.

I thought this would be a good time to discuss what we can do for the family and friends who are grieving and having to deal with the loss.

Here are some of my suggestions:

Dealing with Depression:

·      Just listen. It is hard to be a family member dealing with someone else’s depression. Sometimes the family doesn’t have anyone to share their own feelings of fear, doubt, anger etc.

·      Offer resources that may be available if ever needed.

·      Help the family member know that it is important for that person to take care of themselves. Just like an airplane emergency, the parent has to put on the oxygen mask before putting it on the child.

After a Death:

·      Just Listen. Don’t try to explain anyone’s actions. Just listen. Don’t say that you understand or share that you have experience with a situation like this. The grieving person does not want to hear that. Just listen.

·      Be there. Sometimes no one wants to talk. They just find the comfort of another person being near them. Silence is okay.

·      Make sure that the grieving person has been getting food and water. Sometimes they may be so enveloped in sorrow that they forget about eating and drinking.

·      Think of logistics that they deal with and offer to deal with any that you are able to help with.

What other suggestions can you think of? Please share.

Photo courtesy of Pixabay

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