Lost someone you love?

How to cope?

If you have lost your loved one or friend to suicide, know that you are not alone. With on average, one suicide happening every 3 days in Lebanon, many are grieving.

The shock, excruciating grief and complex emotions that accompany the loss of a loved one to suicide alters us immeasurably. Suicide loss has long-lasting ramifications. It can be very difficult to deal with the aftermath of a suicide and it is only made more difficult by the stigma associated with a suicide death. There is no right way to cope, but there are things that you can do to alleviate the pain associated with losing someone you love.

Here are a few ways to cope in the days and weeks that follow.

Do I have to tell people what happened?

You should do what makes you feel comfortable and in the timeframe that you are comfortable with. Perhaps you can confide in those closest to you at first, to make sense of what has happened.

Suicide shouldn’t be a taboo subject. The sooner we raise awareness on it and on the gravity of mental illness, the sooner we can all start to help save lives.

Will the authorities get involved?

Because suicide is considered an unnatural death, the authorities may question you on what happened and investigate the matter, to rule the cause of death as suicide.

What do I tell my children? Sister? Brother? Father? Mother?

Tell them the truth in a compassionate way. Assess the situation first however. If the children are too young to learn about their parent or loved one taking their own life, speak to a therapist to decide – perhaps it may be best it wait.

How do I handle any public attention the suicide may have gotten?

A suicide may receive media or public attention. During this time, ask for people to respect your privacy. You mourning a loss of a loved one and healing is the most important part of the journey at this time.

How do I plan the funeral? What do I say?

Funeral processions should go on as normal. Ask for help from family and friends if you are unsure how to plan a funeral. Remember your loved one in the good times and encourage those that attend the funeral to do the same. Sharing stories and having a support system helps in the grieving process.

Recommended Books

Solve for Happy, Mo Gawdat

Option B, Sheryl Sandberg

The Last Lecture, Randy Pausch

When Breath Becomes Air, Paul Kalanithi

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