Saturday, November 23, 2013

Suicide Survivors

Suicide is a very complex tragedy for family and friends of the deceased.  When a loved one intentionally kills him or herself, confusion and intense guilt are immediately present among the survivors.  Interestingly enough, in cases of suicide, mere acquaintances may also identify with these feelings.  Survivors will second-guess themselves, questioning why they did not see the signs.  They will ponder and try to recall little nuances.  They will blame themselves, for not identifying, and acting upon what now seems as obvious attempts from the deceased, to reach out for help.  

Survivors will try to discover a reason for the suicide.  Sometimes the reasons are obvious.  The deceased may have alluded to their intentions, they may have displayed classic signs of pre-suicidal behaviors, or they may have suffered something tragic that pushed them beyond their coping abilities.  In such circumstances, survivors may have tried to intervene without success.  Failure to stave off the suicide may cause feelings of inadequacy.  

Sometimes the reasons for suicide are not obvious.  If survivors did not recognize suicidal signs, or try to intervene, the suicide may bring on overwhelming guilt, fear, or self-loathing.  This is a dangerous time for survivors.  Often, they are suffering similar issues, and additional suicides are a great risk.  In search of answers, survivors will begin to speculate; they will begin to play the blame game.  Whether blame is internalized, or directed against others, it can be deadly.  

Identifying the clinical reasons for suicide can be very helpful.  It offers survivors an identifiable cause for the tragedy.  If pathological illness is identified, others may be more readily accepting of intervention.  The goal in identifying the reasons for suicide, is to diminish intense unwarranted guilt, extreme hopelessness, and most importantly, prevent additional suicides among the survivors.

My name is Tracy Renee Lee.  I am a funeral director, author, and freelance writer.  I write books, weekly bereavement articles, and mid-week grief briefs related to understanding and coping with grief.  It is my life's work to comfort the bereaved and help them live on. 

Please follow my blog at Twitter account  @PushnUpDaisies,  visit my or read my book “Pushin’ Up Daisies” for additional encouragement and information.