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10 Things To Remember If A Loved One Has Lost Someone Who Took Their Own Life

10 Things To Remember If A Loved One Has Lost Someone Who Took Their Own Life

Many people who lose someone to suicide feel distressed, alone and helpless. As there is a social stigma surrounding the subject of suicide, many people struggle to openly talk about it without feeling uncomfortable.

The love and support of friends and family at this time is very important to anyone grieving. While grief can feel extremely challenging, it is eased by positive and non-judgemental support.

Here are 10 things to remember if your loved ones have lost someone through suicide.

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1. Offering practical support is often helpful

One of the first things your loved one needs after suffering bereavement is practical support, as they come to terms with what has happened. During this difficult period many people struggle with the smaller things.

Try to think about the little, day-to-day things, such as their children and pets. They may require babysitting as your loved one makes arrangements. Simply offering to cook a meal for your loved one and their family could help to lighten the load.

2. Welcome any conversation offered

While feeling awkward or helpless is understandable, it is important to show your desire to comfort your loved one.

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Try not to avoid the subject of suicide – instead, try to welcome it with open arms. Seeming even slightly hesitant to discuss the subject can create a barrier between you and your loved one, making it harder for them to discuss their grief with you.

3. Being present is very supportive

At times of distress, many people can feel alone and lost. Try to show you are there every few days, by checking in to see if they are okay. Rather than sending a text, consider visiting their home or giving them a ring. This will help your loved one to feel less isolated, and they will know they can openly discuss their emotions with you.

4. Make initial contact

If you find out from someone besides your loved one, try to contact them as soon as possible, rather than waiting to hear from them. Tell them you are sorry for their loss, and offer support if they need anything.

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5. Being open will help your loved one

Instead of waiting for your loved one to bring up their loss, try to bring up the subject of the person who has died. It is important to use their name so your loved one doesn’t feel like they are being forgotten.

6. They may need someone to listen to them

Ask your loved one how they are feeling, and really listen to their answer. Ask follow up questions, and try to understand everything they are saying and feeling.

7. Consider who is grieving

There may be other people you know and love grieving the loss of the same person. Does your loved one have children or a partner? Try to include everyone you think may be silently grieving in your support.

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8. Accept their emotions and behaviour

Understand that your loved one is going through a hard time. Respect the intensity of their grief, and allow them to grieve in a way that suits them.

They may feel overwhelmed by their emotions, and they may feel overcome with emotion when they aren’t expecting to. Simply try to provide support if you are with them and they are feeling emotional.

9. Patience is important

Grieving someone who was lost to suicide is extremely painful and often confusing. Understand that the grief is long-term and will not simply disappear. It will take a long time for your loved one to come to terms with what has happened, and they may need to talk about the situation over and over again for that to happen.

10. Accept it is normal to feel helpless

It is completely normal to feel helpless and awkward when spending time with someone who is grieving. You want to provide them with emotional support, but you may feel like you are incapable of doing so. Try to remember your support is always helpful, so you can push through any inadequacies you feel.

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Amy Johnson

Amy is a writer who blogs about relationships and lifestyle advice.

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Last Updated on July 16, 2019

10 Things a Happy Person Does Differently

10 Things a Happy Person Does Differently

Think being happy is something that happens as a result of luck, circumstance, having money, etc.? Think again.

Happiness is a mindset. And if you’re looking to improve your ability to find happiness, then check out these 10 things a happy person does differently.

Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions. -Dalai Lama

1. Happy people find balance in their lives.

Folks who are happy have this in common: they’re content with what they have, and don’t waste a whole lot of time worrying and stressing over things they don’t. Unhappy people do the opposite: they spend too much time thinking about what they don’t have.

Happy people lead balanced lives. This means they make time for all the things that are important to them, whether it’s family, friends, career, health, religion, etc.

2. Happy people abide by the golden rule.

You know that saying you heard when you were a kid, “Do unto others as you would have them do to you.” Well, happy people truly embody this principle.

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They treat others with respect. They’re sensitive to the thoughts and feelings of other people. They’re compassionate. And they get treated this way (most of the time) in return.

3. Happy people don’t sweat the small stuff.

One of the biggest things happy people do differently compared to unhappy people is they let stuff go.

Bad things happen to good people sometimes. Happy people realize this, are able to take things in stride, and move on.

Unhappy people tend to dwell on minor inconveniences and issues, which can perpetuate feelings of sadness, guilt, resentment, greed, and anger.

4. Happy people take responsibility for their actions.

Happy people aren’t perfect, and they’re well aware of that. When they screw up, they admit it. They recognize their faults and work to improve on them.

Unhappy people tend to blame others and always find an excuse why things aren’t going their way. Happy people, on the other hand, live by the mantra:

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“There are two types of people in the world: those that do and those that make excuses why they don’t.”

5. Happy people surround themselves with other happy people.

One defining characteristic of happy people is they tend to hang out with other happy people. Misery loves company, and unhappy people gravitate toward others who share their negative sentiments.

If you’re struggling with a bout of sadness, depression, worry, or anger, spend more time with your happiest friends or family members. Chances are, you’ll find that their positive attitude rubs off on you.

6. Happy people are honest with themselves and others.

People who are happy often exhibit the virtues of honesty and trustworthiness. They would rather give you candid feedback, even when the truth hurts, and they expect the same in return.

Happy people respect people who give them an honest opinion.

7. Happy people show signs of happiness.

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smile

    This one may sound obvious but, it’s a key differentiator between happy and unhappy people.

    Think about your happiest friends. Chances are, the mental image you form is of them smiling, laughing, and appearing genuinely happy.

    On the flip side, those who aren’t happy tend to look the part. Their posture may be slouched and you may perceive a lack of confidence.

    8. Happy people are passionate.

    Another thing happy people have in common is their ability to find their passions in life and pursue those passions to the fullest. Happy people have found what they’re looking for, and they spend their time doing what they love.

    9. Happy people see challenges as opportunities.

    Folks who are happy accept challenges and use them as opportunities to learn and grow. They turn negatives into positives and make the best out of seemingly bad situations.

    They don’t dwell on things that are out of their control; rather, they seek solutions and creative ways of overcoming obstacles.

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    10. Happy people live in the present.

    While unhappy people tend to dwell on the past and worry about the future, happy people live in the moment. They are grateful for “the now” and focus their efforts on living life to the fullest in the present. Their philosophy is:

    There’s a reason it’s called “the present.” Because life is a gift.

    So if you’d like to bring a little more happiness into your life, think about the 10 principles above and how you can use them to make yourself better.

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    Featured photo credit: Artem Beliaikin via unsplash.com

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