Grief is always a painful process and grief after a loss by suicide can be even more confusing and challenging for people to navigate than any other kind of grief. Suicide leaves so many questions of why and what if. These questions can take over and make it hard for you to make sense of anything. It has been described as endlessly trying to make sense of the senseless, trying to understand the incomprehensible.
One major complication of dealing with grief after a loss by suicide is the stigma that surrounds the issue. Our culture has developed many powerful stories and judgements around the meaning of suicide that leave many people afraid of the subject or unsure of how to approach it or how to offer support to the grieving. This leaves a lot of silence where there might have been support if the death had been by another cause. People are left in isolation with their pain and this can compound the feelings of devastation.
This is why the Nelson and District Hospice Society has decided to offer a special six week grief support group specifically for people who have lost loved ones by suicide. Any adult who has had this experience at any point in their lives is welcome to attend this free six-week group on Wednesday afternoons in downtown Nelson. The group with be facilitated by counsellor David Scanlan and personal coach Morag Reid.
The society’s grief facilitators have found that the best support people can get during times of grieving a suicide is through sharing the experience, not just of the suicide but of the whole person, the whole relationship with the loved one who has died, with people who kindly understand and honour these stories. It is important to find people who do not judge or shy away from the subject but are able to listen deeply.
This group will create a supportive environment where people can share their grief and their love, with others who have been through a similar experience. People will be invited to share insights, hope, empathy and some of the wisdom they have gathered through this difficult experience. And finally, the group will explore how the stigma of suicide can often be silencing and make it hard to ask for support or to share stories.
For more information or free registration, call 250-352-2337.