Grieving loss after suicide is equal parts painful and devastating. There are so many questions and emotions that can start to swirl through your head leaving you feeling more sad and confused than ever before.
As you begin to wade through the questions and emotions, here are 6 thoughts to consider:
1. Processing the grief from suicide will take time. Extended and complicated grief is often experienced. Guilt, anger, despair, rejection, abandonment, shame and embarrassment may be some of the complex emotions that follow -- these are all normal, reach out to others for the support you will need.
2. Be careful to place your identity in Christ not the crisis. You and your destiny are not defined by the event of suicide, even though in the beginning it will feel that way.
3. Suicide is not the unpardonable sin. The choice of suicide does not cause eternal separation from God. Nothing separates us from God except rejecting the gift of salvation through the blood of Jesus Christ (Romans 8:31-37).
4. Choose life after death. Suicide is often the result of a spiritual battle. Unfortunately, the enemy is involved in the decision against life because his mission in this world is “to kill, steal, and destroy.” (John 10:10) Beyond this unimaginable dark time, Jesus desires to give you abundant life.
“I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants.” (Deuteronomy 30:19)
5. God will be an ever-present help. Friends and family may not know how to comfort you causing an extra measure of pain and loneliness -- this is to be anticipated. Forgiveness is crucial to preventing a root of bitterness causing further destruction. Invite others into your grief to the extent you are able and be honest if they are not helping in meaningful ways. But, rest assured, God hears and understands you, you are not alone.
6. Peace surpassing natural understanding will come. Trusting God with the unimaginable will allow you to move past the questions left unanswered.
“You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You.” (Isaiah 26:3, AMPC)
RESOURCE: The Suicide Lifeline network is available 24/7 across the United States, please call 1-800-273-8255.