If you experience thoughts of harming yourself or others, seek help immediately from any of these resources:
Go to your emergency room
Call your local crisis hotline or mental health center
Call 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433)
Or 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)
Or 1-800-799-4TTY for TTY access
*Call a friend or family member to help you find a resource
*Be sure to follow through with the help that is recommended for you. One tragedy is enough.
While grieving people may experience brief thoughts of suicide, sometimes in search of relief from the pain of loss, such thoughts often signal the need for greater support and need to be taken seriously.
There is much to be gained from talking with people who have been through what you have.
Your support people will suggest that you attend a support group, but only you can determine when and if it will be right for you. Read pamphlets, ask questions, take a support person with you at first, whatever will make it possible to check out the group.
You will find local bereavement groups though hospice, cancer support organizations, hospitals, other organizations. Most local newspapers run a list of nearby groups.
Survivors of suicide groups are available in some areas, as are groups for the survivors of violent crime.
If no face-to-face services are available near you, check your local mental health or social service agencies, or private practice counselors, psychologists, or social workers.
These and other websites offer a wealth of additional information and services. Explore and connect with what meets your needs.
www.compassionatefriends.org Compassionate Friends offers support after the death of a child through local support groups and online support.
http://www.griefshare.org to find local seminars and support for those grieving over a death, in U.S., Canada and 10 other countries.
www.griefnet.org offers email support groups, information, memorials, suicide prevention and survivors resources. Originated by a Michigan-based PhD psychologist.
www.goodgriefgroups.com offers workbooks, resources to begin local groups. Testimonials by well-known grief authors, run by a chaplain.
www.thelightbeyond.com provides 20 forums regarding specific kinds of losses. Created by a woman who is not a mental health professional in honor of her deceased mother, a blog is written by a number of writers with their own experience of loss.
www.Journeyofhearts.org Nonprofit site with resources and support for anyone grieving a loss, since 1997, established by an MD.
www.recover-from-grief.com describes their mission as Grief, Loss Recovery, Hope and Health through Creative Grieving, by an ICU nurse who is also a certified grief counselor.
www.allianceofhope.org for survivors of a loved-one's suicide, includes blog, forums, bookstore.
webhealing.com offers links to numerous accounts by grieving family members in honor of loved ones, active interactive forums, and additional resources.
For even more:
hubpages.com/health/grief-loss-bereavement#module4895594 for a wealth of additional information.
Books & Other Resources
Barry Baines, Ethical Wills: Putting Your Values on Paper, Perseus, 2002.
Cathy Blanford, Something Happened: A Book for Children and Parents Who Have Experienced Pregnancy Loss, Perfect, 2008.
Cathy Blanford, My Baby Big Sister: A Book for Children Born Subsequent to a Pregnancy Loss, Ananda, 2010.
Elizabeth DeVita-Raeburn, The Empty Room: Surviving the Loss of A Brother or Sister at Any Age, Schribner, 2004.
Joan Didion, The Year of Magical Thinking, Knopf, 2007.
Carla Fine, No Time to Say Goodbye: Surviving the Suicide of a Loved One, Doubleday, 1997.
Maxine Harris, The Loss That Is Forever: The Lifelong Impact of the Early Death of a Mother or Father, Penguin, 1995.
Harriet Lerner, Fear and Other Uninvited Guests: Tackling the Emotions that Keep Us from Optimal Living and Loving, Harper Collins, 2004.
C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed, Bantam, 1961.
Elizabeth McCracken, An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination: A Memoir, Little Brown, 2010.
Pat McNees, Dying: A Book of Comfort, GuildAmerica, 1996.
Kevin Young ed. The Art of Losing: Poems of Grief and Healing, Bloomsbury USA, 2010.
The Art of Grieving
Leaving the science of grief and turning to the art, in 2003, writer and psychotherapist Miriam Greenspan, wrote Healing Through the Dark Emotions: The Wisdom of Grief, Fear, and Despair, (Shambala, 2003) on emotional alchemy that can change our pain into wisdom. She views grief transforming into gratitude, despair into faith, and fear into joy, if we can work to overcome our natural avoidance of those emotions.
In a lyrical consideration of Unattended Sorrow: Recovering from Loss and Reviving the Heart (Rodale, 2005), author and grief worker Stephen Levine compares unresolved grief to a “low grade fever” that saps strength and energy. His book began as a pamphlet to put in the hands of survivors of firefighters killed in the September 11, 2001 attack and grew to be a wide-ranging riff on the costs of unexpressed grief. A friend of Kubler-Ross, he cites the numbing effect of grief that is not dealt with. He offers encouragement to follow your grief where it leads you.
These are samples of hundreds of other resources, some of them memoirs, other research accounts, still others heartfelt accounts of therapists’ encounters with grieving clients. All of them offer hard-won wisdom, and any of them might give you an insight or thought that would be just what you need on a given day.