Support Groups: The Survivors After Suicide Loss

...is a group of mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, brothers, sisters, boyfriends, girlfriends, and close friends of someone who has completed suicide.  As a group, we express our heartfelt sympathy for your loss.

 

             As a group, we understand the trauma of being a survivor.

 

             As a group, we support one another and heal together as we move through the complicated grief following sudden traumatic death.

 

             As a group, we want you to know that you are not alone, and that at any point in your life, you are welcome in our circle.

 

In our culture, suicide often carries a shameful stigma that often isolates the survivor from the very support that we need to grieve.  Our grief is complicated, or “disenfranchised” in that our loss cannot be openly acknowledged, socially accepted, or publicly shared.

Survivors often feel an overwhelming loss of control, loss of security, haunting guilt, shaken beliefs, and feelings of rejection or desertion.   We focus on the question of what despair was so unbearable that our loved one saw death as their only relief.

To be at peace with the deceased, survivors must grieve.  Aside from the typical aspects of grief, as a suicide survivor, you may be experiencing:

STIGMA: Other people—sometimes even your relatives and friends—may avoid you or even blame you for the death. You might feel ashamed that such a thing happened in your family.

GUILT: Because suicide has been called “the preventable death,” you may think you could

have kept it from happening.

REJECTION: You may feel abandoned, reasoning that, because your loved one chose death, he or she chose not to live with you.

ANGER: Your pain can take the form of anger toward the deceased, toward professionals for not

preventing it, toward yourself, or even toward God.

QUESTIONING: Survivors can be overwhelmed wondering why the person took his or her life.

You may wonder what you could have done to prevent it.  It is hard for anyone to really understand a loss from suicide, but talking with others who have been through the same experience can help you begin adjusting to the death.

ARE MY FEELINGS NORMAL?


Dates:


(1st) & (3rd) Tuesday of each month, and no fees are charged

Time:

7:00 PM to 8:30 PM

Location:

Catholic Social Services

33 E. Northampton St.

 Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania 18701

Facilitator

Denise Rowinski Mengak - Professional



(2nd) & (4th) Tuesday of each month, and no fees are charged

Time:

6:00 PM to 7:30 PM

Location:

Catholic Social Services

214 W. Walnut Street

 Hazleton, Pennsylvania 18201

Facilitators:

Catholic Social Services Professional & Peer




**These are no-fee open grief groups that welcome survivors of suicide loss at any stage of their grieving process.  You don't need to sign up; just show up.  Anyone in need of support after the loss of a loved one is welcome.  Participants enter the group, leave, and return as they feel the need.