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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

Freelance writer, editor and social media manager.

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

7 Powerful Questions To Find Out What You Want To Do With Your Life

7 Powerful Questions To Find Out What You Want To Do With Your Life

What do I want to do with my life? It’s a question all of us think about at one point or another.

For some, the answer comes easily. For others, it takes a lifetime to figure out.

It’s easy to just go through the motions and continue to do what’s comfortable and familiar. But for those of you who seek fulfillment, who want to do more, these questions will help you paint a clearer picture of what you want to do with your life.

1. What are the things I’m most passionate about?

The first step to living a more fulfilling life is to think about the things that you’re passionate about.

What do you love? What fulfills you? What “work” do you do that doesn’t feel like work? Maybe you enjoy writing, maybe you love working with animals or maybe you have a knack for photography.

The point is, figure out what you love doing, then do more of it.

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2. What are my greatest accomplishments in life so far?

Think about your past experiences and the things in your life you’re most proud of.

How did those accomplishments make you feel? Pretty darn good, right? So why not try and emulate those experiences and feelings?

If you ran a marathon once and loved the feeling you had afterwards, start training for another one. If your child grew up to be a star athlete or musician because of your teachings, then be a coach or mentor for other kids.

Continue to do the things that have been most fulfilling for you.

3. If my life had absolutely no limits, what would I choose to have and what would I choose to do?

Here’s a cool exercise: Think about what you would do if you had no limits.

If you had all the money and time in the world, where would you go? What would you do? Who would you spend time with?

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These answers can help you figure out what you want to do with your life. It doesn’t mean you need millions of dollars to be happy though.

What it does mean is answering these questions will help you set goals to reach certain milestones and create a path toward happiness and fulfillment. Which leads to our next question …

4. What are my goals in life?

Goals are a necessary component to set you up for a happy future. So answer these questions:

Once you figure out the answers to each of these, you’ll have a much better idea of what you should do with your life.

5. Whom do I admire most in the world?

Following the path of successful people can set you up for success.

Think about the people you respect and admire most. What are their best qualities? Why do you respect them? What can you learn from them?

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You’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.[1] So don’t waste your time with people who hold you back from achieving your dreams.

Spend more time with happy, successful, optimistic people and you’ll become one of them.

6. What do I not like to do?

An important part of figuring out what you want to do with your life is honestly assessing what you don’t want to do.

What are the things you despise? What bugs you the most about your current job?

Maybe you hate meetings even though you sit through 6 hours of them every day. If that’s the case, find a job where you can work more independently.

The point is, if you want something to change in your life, you need to take action. Which leads to our final question …

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7. How hard am I willing to work to get what I want?

Great accomplishments never come easy. If you want to do great things with your life, you’re going to have to make a great effort. That will probably mean putting in more hours the average person, getting outside your comfort zone and learning as much as you can to achieve as much as you can.

But here’s the cool part: it’s often the journey that is the most fulfilling part. It’s during these seemingly small, insignificant moments that you’ll often find that “aha” moments that helps you answer the question,

“What do I want to do with my life?”

So take the first step toward improving your life. You won’t regret it.

Featured photo credit: Andrew Ly via unsplash.com

Reference

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