I posted some questions to my fellow survivors of suicide loss in an effort to better understand the grieving process. I also wanted to gain some tips and insight about moving through the grieving process and back into giggling, laughter and fun.
The first Survivor Q & A interview is with Annie DiMattia.
Q & A with Annie DiMattia
How was grieving the loss of your loved one by suicide different (if at all) from grieving the loss of other loved ones who did not die by suicide?
It was different because we all struggled with the “Why?” of it all. There was absolutely no closure. He left no note, and no one was expecting this.
It was tough to wrap our minds around the reality of it. We all also struggled with the notion that perhaps we could have done “more” to save him…we also recounted all of our conversations with him over and over again to try to determine if we hurt him further or if we could have helped him…there’s a lot of doubt and questions about this kind of death on the survivors’ part, I think.
In the aftermath of your loved one’s death, what 3 Things helped you learn to enjoy life and laugh again?
- We all got together and had a cool rap session and shared our fondest memories of him…we laughed hard and remembered him with joy.
- I was happy for him that he was no longer in pain. I believe in Heaven and believe that he is there, being joyful – finally.
- Prayer and bonding with the other survivors in his family.
Did you feel guilt for laughing again and enjoying life after your loved one’s death? Meaning, did you feel you were not honoring their memory because you moved past intense grief?
Not at all. He had a marvelous sense of humor, so I know he was laughing just as much as me.
For those of you past the 12 month mark of a loved one’s suicide, what advice would you give to someone who has recently lost someone to suicide?
- I would simply apply everything that I mentioned above.
- Honor the REALITY of the situation.
- Think about THEM and their pain and NOT YOURSELF.
- REALIZE they are no longer in pain.
- Keep a sense of humor.
- HONOR THEIR LIVES – NOT THEIR DEATH!
- Do something to honor your loved one. This will help you to feel better about this situation and have some closure.
What type of resources do you feel survivor’s of suicide need the most?
DEFINITELY need to be with people; not solely reading about how to deal, or on the internet. I believe that we all need that interaction with others who understand it, in order to truly heal properly. Join support groups so you know you’re not alone in your experiences.
Annie, thank you for taking time to share your thoughts and feelings with us here. The path of healing never ends but when we walk together and find ways to laugh together and get back into the Giggle! You are fabulous and amazing. Giggle On!
If you recently lost a loved one to suicide, please accept my most sincere condolences. You may feel lost, scared, depressed and confused, but please know…YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Help is available for you.
For Grief and Survivor Resources, please visit our Resources page and scroll to the bottom.
Participate in the Survivor Q & A Series
For more posts in the Survivor Series, click the links below. If you would like to be a part of this series, please answer the 5 questions and send a photo of yourself with your loved one. Send your email to christa at giggle on dot com.