If you lose someone to suicide
It is important to remember that you are not alone, and that millions of people are impacted by suicide loss. The loss of a loved one to suicide is often shocking and deeply upsetting. It is common to feel guilt, emptiness, confusion, anger, or even that your own life is not worth living.
How to cope
It is important to take care of yourself after a loss. Here are some ways to be sure you are coping in a healthy way:
- Lean on your community for support as you grieve the loss of a loved one – talking about your loss is an important step in healing.
- Grieve at your own pace. Everyone grieves in different ways, do what feels right for you. Don't be hurried by expectations that it's been "long enough."
- Find a support group. You are not alone, and talking to others who understand about what happened can help enormously.
- Know when to seek professional help. It’s okay to ask for help. We have trained professionals available 24/7, by calling the Crisis and Support Line at 503-655-8585.
- Trauma Intervention Program’s Resource Guide provides suggestions such as how to cope after a suicide, a list of local funeral homes, a list of biohazard cleaning services, Medical Examiner office contact numbers and a list of required information to obtain a death certificate.
- The Dougy Center provides support, resources, and connection after a death for children, teens and their caregivers. Find communication tip sheets, activities, podcasts, and more through their personalized toolkits.
- Speak with an individual who is also a suicide loss survivor by getting in touch with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's Healing Conversations program. These individuals offer understanding and guidance in the weeks and months following a suicide death.
- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's Resource and Healing Guide provides information about coping with loss, the survivor loss community, and resources to help with your journey.
- American Association of Suicidology Handbook for Survivors of Suicide is a book for people who have lost a loved one to suicide, written by someone who has suffered the same loss.