Dealing with the loss of a loved one
The year 2020 has been a set back for most. Personal and professional insecurities have led to an array of mental health disturbances. It happens to the best of us. The good thing is that we are now encouraged to speak out about our problems. But not everyone has the strength to come out of it stronger.
It is difficult for us to imagine what may have led a friend, family member or even a celebrity to commit suicide. You can never tell what battle each person is fighting on the inside. In a brief instant, ending your life seems like a better option than living through the pain.
But what you leave behind is more than broken dreams - a broken home - loved ones guilty about how they may have missed a cry for help or if they could have done something to stop you.
If something is bothering you immensely and making you lose hope, we at The Safety Net want to assure you that we are always here to help you get through it. Please get in touch with us on our helpline for any further assistance.
If you are the family or friend of a person who has given up on their life, please remember that you don’t have to go through this alone.
SUICIDE CAN TRIGGER INTENSE FEELINGS
Healing by feeling a full range of emotions is important.
SHOCK -A feeling that this cannot be real
ANGER – How could your loved one abandon you? How could you not tell the warning signs?
GUILT – ‘Was it my fault?’… ‘What if I could have helped?’
DESPAIR – Sadness, despair, loneliness and a feeling of ending your own life
CONFUSION – Trying to make sense of the death
REJECTION – Was my relationship and love not enough for them?
These feelings can continue for a period of weeks to months and can include nightmares, flashbacks, social withdrawal, apathy and trigger several mental health problems of your own.
LOG KYA KAHENGE?
People find it difficult to discuss mental health problems, let alone a suicide. This could leave you feeling abandoned, socially anxious and ashamed.
Never base your self worth or the worth of your family on the wagging tongues of neighbourhood aunties. It is momentary and this too shall pass.
HEALTHY COPING STRATEGIES
Moving past such an overwhelming situation can be a daunting and emotionally exhaustive task, but as you work through your grief, know that you will grow to be more mature and mindful, do not deny your self that healing to put up a front.
KEEP IN TOUCH – Reach out to your loved ones, friends, spiritual leaders, even youtubers. Surround yourself with people who listen even and particularly when you don’t have anything to say. The strongest band aid for a breaking heart is most often some warmth and silence.
GRIEVE IN YOUR OWN WAY – You do you. Do not let others dictate how you should behave even if it is through their personal experience. If you find something too painful, you can wait to do it until you are ready.
THERE WILL ALWAYS BE PAINFUL REMINDERS – I wish it was easier, but you cannot run away from an anniversary, a meeting spot, their clothes or their memories. All you can do is be prepared to revisit them. Don’t beat yourself up for being emotional about it. There is nothing wrong with a memory, they are important and should always be in our hearts. But over time it will consume you with less sadness that it ended and more happiness that you got to witness them together.
TAKE YOUR TIME – No two hearts heal in the same way and at the same time. And that’s okay.
GOOD DAYS AND BAD DAYS – Expect some emotional and personal setbacks in life a few months or years after the suicide. Some days will push you into a spiral of thoughts about your loved one. Then some days are better than others. And some day you will realise that the days keep getting better.
SHARE YOUR STORY – A support group, a helpline, a friend or a stranger can help you heal better. If you feel they are not helping or keep you ruminating about the death, it is completely fine to stop and heal on your own too.
KNOW WHEN TO SEEK PROFESSIONAL HELP
If you experience intense, unrelenting emotions that you cannot control and are disrupting your will to go on, please consider seeking help from our helpline, doctors or a mental health provider. We can help you get through a crisis and resume your life or adjust to a new life post the death.
Face the future leaving all the bad thoughts behind. You will see happy days again. And life will get back on track. The pain may never leave, but eventually, you will make peace with what you cannot change. And although it may seem like a long and difficult journey, you will get there.
Dr Urjita Patil
Co – founder
The Safety Net