How to Survive the First Months

  • waiting-1-531227-m[1]You are not responsible for your loved one’s death. Be gentle with yourself and offer the same forgiveness and mercy you would grant to another survivor.
  • While there is much about your loved one’s death that you don’t understand, God has promised never to leave your side. Pray and read His Word.
  • Accept that the “why” may never completely go away.
  • Make a list of “Things I Did Right”. Focus on the good you brought into your loved one’s life.
  • Accept all wild and unpredictable feelings of anger, guilt, sadness, regret, and depression. Each is part of the grieving process.
  • Concentrate on your daily basic needs. Simplify your life. Trim extra-curricular commitments (making cookies for a bake sale!) and decline any outside requests that you do not feel up to.
  • Likewise, do engage in any activity that sounds refreshing to mind, body, or spirit.
  • Accept any awkward condolence or kind offer of help. Let people love you.
  • Trust your instincts. You know best what you need.
  • As you are able, center your attention on your immediate family. They need any extra resources you have to give.
  • Guard your marriage or other important relationships. Allow each person to grieve in their own style and on their own timetable.
  • It can be healing to “schedule” your grief with a good cry in a favorite chair. Consider Including a hot drink, a favorite quilt, music, a photo album, a sympathetic pet, ect.
  • In time, find ways to honor your loved one’s life, interests, or passions.
  • Anticipate that special days and holidays will be challenging or difficult. Make a plan. Surround yourself with supportive people.
  • LIkewise, avoid those who cannot give you the support you need.
  • Connect with other suicide survivors or close friends who will listen to your pain. Try a support group.
  • Trust that survival is possible.
  • Ask for help if your grief becomes overwhelming or if you have thoughts of harming yourself. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

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