Healing From a Suicide Loss
Guest post written by Deb Sheppard
I am a medium. I help you connect to your loved ones who have crossed over from every type of loss. I have worked with many clients and all types of deaths have come through from tragic ones, accidents, suicide, and murders, to those who die peacefully in their sleep of old age. I have even used my ability to connect with unborn children and four-legged fur babies. Each loss is different, and each relationship is unique.
The purpose to meet with a medium like myself is to get help in finding closure and peace, so healing can begin. As a medium my intention is to help those that seek my guidance to provide insight and tools to begin their healing process.
The topic of death from suicide has been at the top of my radar. In the US suicide is the 10th leading cause of death. Don’t think it won’t or can’t happen to those you love. When you are faced with a death by suicide, everyone in that individual’s life is affected differently. Guilt is high on the list of emotions of grief. Some are left wondering if more could have been done? My new book Grieving to Believing-Discovering the Afterlife discusses all of these topics and I share my own personal journey as a suicide survivor.
Guilt can be present regardless of the type of death, but we understand cancer, Alzheimer’s, and accidents differently than suicide. Since suicide is so misunderstood and I find many people I work with feel that they grieve alone.
In my experience people in general can be very judgmental to those we have lost through suicide whether is it religious beliefs or community and society judgement. You can lose family and friends, because they sometimes share their opinion of feeling that suicide is a “sin”. There is already so much shame and guilt from suicide, but it makes it worse when you are shut out from your normal support system.
Suicide has been in our media more recently with the deaths of some very high-profile public figures like Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. Because of this there has been more talk about depression and other types of mental illnesses. For some reason our society can accept a liver going bad from drinking or lungs getting cancer from smoking or heart attacks from eating too much cholesterol. Unfortunately, because we don’t completely understand the brain and how it all works, there is no compassion for depression.
We have so many who have had tragic situations and because of this have been diagnosed with PTSD and struggle with depression. What about all the children who have been abuse victims at the hands of an adult, do you think they may be affected by depression? What about the athletes diagnosed with CTE from too many concussions? What if you are predisposed to depression? This can be like every other trait that can be passed down through DNA to our children and future generations.
When we don’t understand, sometimes we close our minds and just assume. My suggestion is to become educated. We need to keep spreading the word to fight against suicide. When people considering suicide know that there won’t be judgment surrounding their feelings or their depression then they will seek help. Be that safe person for others to share how they are feeling and you can help support them.
Keep in mind that it has been proven that when one family members dies by suicide, there is a possibility another one may follow. When my late husband died by suicide his family didn’t want to talk about it. They told friends that he had a heart attack. They didn’t want to discuss or even admit his suicide, but it does have a ripple effect and others that may have suicidal thoughts may not seek help. This unfortunately did happen in my family.
When I am channeling a loved one coming through, no matter how they died whether from cancer, a car accident or suicide, they always seem to be in a good place. One of my sayings is “there is no dieting or taxes where they are, so it must be heaven”. They are not somewhere different because they died by suicide. With all kidding aside, I feel that mental illness is like a cancer of the mind, something is wrong. How do we process and heal when there is something wrong?
Suicide is terrible and when more people learn about this disease we can help transform the belief system. We can inspire people to find help. We can support those who are grieving from a loss from suicide. This isn’t about being ashamed of depression, it’s supporting those who suffer in silence with it.
No matter how our loved ones left us, they are not in the same pain or situation they were while living a human experience. My belief is to honor the fact that we want them to be here! We want them to live longer with us! We can only accomplish this if we begin to change the image of depression. Suicide is not a weakness, it’s an illness.
My book has been launched July of 2018 it shares my journey and the losses that my family endured. It also shares many tips on how to heal from loss. I wrote this book and was vulnerable as I shared my story along with my children’s journey through losing their father and cousin. They were 15 and 11 when their father died by suicide. My book Grieving to Believing; Discovering the Afterlife also shares how to begin to notice signs and connect to your loved ones on your own.
If you take anything away from this article or my book, it is that those that are involved in health care for mental illness, have changed the way we talk about suicide. It is NO longer accepted to say that someone “committed” suicide. The new verbiage is to say they “suicided” or “died by suicide”. It’s no different than saying someone died from cancer or an accident.
If you have had a loss from suicide and still carry guilt and regret, know from my two decades of doing readings, I’ve never had a loved one who suicided project guilt to those they left behind. They want us to recall the good times and know they are still “Forever Connected.”