Understanding Suicide Grief

Survivors of Suicide Loss Support Group - Madison, NJ

There have been many books and articles written over the years about the "5 stages" of grief. The challenge with a traumatic loss like a suicide is that it often more complex and does not proceed in a simple orderly fashion. It is common for suicide survivors to feel like they are sliding back and forth between the stages of grief. It is common to be triggered by a photo, a song or a memory of the loved one we lost to suicide and to slide into a difficult moment.

Understanding Suicide Survivor's Grief

  • Exploring the Uniqueness of Your Suicide Grief
    • Resource: Article
    • Summary: Exploring 10 reasons why suicide grief is different from ordinary grief by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D.
  • Grief After Suicide
    • Resource: 12 page PDF
    • Summary: Your grief after a suicide may feel quite different than the grief you have felt after other kinds of losses. Usually the death of someone from suicide has a much more intense and long lasting impact. When someone you know dies from suicide you struggle with complex social, emotional and cultural issues that can make your grief overwhelming and isolating.
  • Understanding Grief
    • Resource: 26 page PDF
    • Summary: Hospice Foundation for America training presentation about grief after the death of a loved one.
  • Dispelling the Misconceptions About Suicide and Grief and Mourning
    • Resource: Webpage
    • Summary: A discussion about the 17 misconceptions many people have. As you journey through the wilderness of your suicide grief, if you mourn openly and authentically, you will come to find a path that feels right for you. That is your path to healing. But beware others may try to pull you off this path. They may try to make you believe that the path you have chosen is wrong even crazy and that their way is better. The reason that people try to pull you from the path is that they have internalized some common misconceptions about suicide grief and mourning. And the misconceptions, in essence, deny you your right to hurt and authentically express your grief. They often cause unrealistic expectations about the grief experience. To integrate this loss into your soul, you must first be willing to unlearn the following misconceptions about suicide and grief and mourning.
  • Grief After Suicide
  • Grief After Suicide Blog
    • Resource: Blog
    • Summary:
  • Healing From Suicide Grief
    • Resource: Blog
    • Summary:
  • Coping with Grief After a Suicide Death
    • Resource: 44 page PDF
    • Summary: This booklet is designed as a simple response to distress signals that you are likely to direct to family members, friends, your social support network, and others. Some people who care about you may have enough compassion, knowledge and sensitivity to meet your needs; others may ‘mean well’, and succeed in saying and doing all the wrong things.
  • The Journey Through Grief: The Mourner's Six "Reconciliation Needs"
    • Resource: 4 page PDF
    • Summary: There are six "yield signs" you are likely to encounter on your journey through grief-what I call the "reconciliation needs of mourning." For while your grief journey will be an intensely personal, unique experience, all mourners must yield to this set of basic human needs if they are to heal.
  • Are You a Grief Victim or a Grief Survivor?
    • Resource: 1 page PDF
    • Summary: A short series of questions to help you become a survivor and not be a victim.