When a Young Person Takes Their Own Life
As suicide rates for young people continue to climb, more and more Wichita families are left to face the reality of their beloved child, sibling, cousin, friend taking their own life. At Downing & Lahey Mortuaries and Crematory, we meet with those who are heartbroken and struggling with a multitude of “what ifs” following a suicide.
What if I could’ve done something or said something to prevent this?
What if I had done a better job of being there and staying in contact?
What if there were warning signs I overlooked or completely missed?
The pain and grief of losing a loved one to suicide is unfathomable. It is our hope that you will consider our caring staff a means of support. Our website offers many resources to help on the road to healing, including links to e-courses, online forums, and support groups.
During this month’s Bereaved Parents Month, we offer a special word of encouragement to our East and West Wichita neighbors who know the pain of losing a child firsthand. Too often, when a child dies, a parent’s grief is glossed over and even goes unnoticed. It’s almost as if the pain is too overwhelming and uncomfortable for others to face.
Although the feelings of emptiness and devastation will always be there to some extent, we do want to provide steps to continue on the healing process, particularly for those whose loved one has taken their own life:
· Remember that everyone grieves in their own way. Some isolate, refusing to respond to texts and phone calls. Others never want to be alone, finding solace in the presence of friends and family. Young people in particular don’t want to be viewed as an additional “burden” and may try to appear as if they’re coping alright – when this is far from the truth. For advice, check out our blog 5 Tips for Helping Grieving Teens and Reconnecting with Life After a Loss.
- Understand that feelings of guilt are normal. It’s also important to understand that you may never get the answers you’re looking for.
- Seek out support. Too often, friends don’t know what to say and may end up saying nothing at all. Sadly, the parent often needs to reach out for the encouragement they need. Professional counseling and support groups are a good place to start. We can connect you with aftercare resources in East and West Wichita, so contact us anytime for help.
During this difficult time, remember that we are available 24/7 if you need support or a listening ear. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We are always here for our Wichita community.
If you think a friend or family member might hurt himself or herself, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK. Counselors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and all calls are confidential.