One of the most challenging types of grief can be after the suicide loss of a loved one. For that reason, suicide awareness and prevention is of utmost importance. Sometimes friends or family may realize there is a problem beforehand and try to get them help. Other times, it happens out of the blue. If you have suffered the loss of a loved one from this cause, there are special resources available for you.
First of all, as I have been in the art teaching field, I am particularly interested in artistic ways to bring awareness to suicide prevention. One of the most intriguing art pieces is entitled Finding the Light Within. This mural is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the US. It was a true community effort involving more than 1,200 community members. It included the lead muralist as well as two suicide survivors. Here is more information on this huge and effective project: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3865777/.
Secondly, here is another piece of art to bring attention to the mental health issue of suicide: https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/84-men-male-statues-london-mental-health-suicide-p/. This temporary sculpture certainly brought a lot of attention to the fact that 84 males a week die from this very reason in the UK.
Personal Reasons: Suicide Loss
A little over four years ago, I had an interesting dream. Apparently I love writing so much that I even compose pieces in my sleep! One night I awoke with two lines begging to roll off my tongue. I arose and released the words to paper for safekeeping. Upon returning to bed, I pondered my penned words, “Swimming in circles” and “watching the ice melt.” With amazement, I noted each of the two phrases contained five syllables. Immediately, the haiku 5-7-5 syllable count came to mind. I had a pair of five syllable lines. However, I was two syllables short for the second one. I tweaked the melting ice line for more potent meaning. In the final draft, my initial second line became the third.
swimming in circles two syllables short he quit watching icebergs melt
I don’t know what you intuit from my little poem, but six days prior to that poem-writing-dream, a close family member took his own life. Grievously, it has now been over four years ago. Toward the end, we knew he was having issues. Family members did their best to intervene. Unfortunately, the extent of his pain was not realized until it was too late. It is truly as if the psyche of a depressed person is like an iceberg. There is only a small portion which is openly visible to the eyes of others. The depths of the iceberg are far below “see” level. As such these feelings are hidden from others as the secret feelings seem too dark and foreboding to share.
At his service, a relative gave some sage advice, “First, none of us is perfect. Second, it is okay to be vulnerable. Finally, everyone needs help sometimes.” Our relative only wished he could have rescued him with this advice.
Suicide Loss Help for Parents
One of the most difficult kinds of grief may be for parents who have lost a child in this manner. Here is a site with resources for the survivors: https://afsp.org/story/how-i-survived-the-suicide-of-my-son-15-tips-for-grieving-parents. This includes three stories written by parents who’ve lost a child: https://www.checkupnewsroom.com/in-their-own-words-three-parents-open-up-about-losing-a-child-to-suicide/ Here is another resource for parents who have lost a child from any cause: Comforting Bereaved Parents.
As you can see, mental health is so important all around our world. Pay attention to what we can do to insure that mental health is regarded as a vital part of healthy living. Support policies and actions which help to prevent suicide loss.
Finally, If you or a friend or loved one ever feel in such despair to want to end your life, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE reach out to someone. It could be a friend, a loved one, a minister, a doctor, anyone! There is a suicide hotline with experts trained to assist by calling 1-800-273-8255 or texting 741741. Your loved ones will be eternally grateful!