On June 9, 2012, I met a new friend for coffee. At that time, meeting people in Seattle wasn’t exactly easy and so I got excited to meet a fellow like-mind. I heard my phone buzz in my purse and I saw it was a 216 number, which is the area code for Cleveland.
Odd sensations ran through my body but I ignored the call to pay special attention to my new friendship. My friend went to the bathroom and I saw an email from my Uncle’s friend with a weird subject line, but I didn’t open it.
After meeting my friend, I read the email and it said to call the Westlake Police Department, which matched the number of the missed call on my cell phone. I called the number and an officer informed me that my uncle was found dead in his condo, which looked most likely like a suicide.
Everything in my body dropped. I nearly puked on the sidewalk and frantic, I called my dad hysterical. Not knowing or understanding his death, the first question I had was why and what drove him to do this?
For weeks, I couldn’t keep my composure. I would burst out in tears at the drop of a dime or when hearing an emotional song. My uncle was quirky and a bit eccentric. Because of this, he was outcasted from many social circles. I empathized and understood his mentality.
He had a pure love and passion for the star and wildlife. We often talked about how we wish we could understand what an animal is thinking in that moment when our eyes meet.
Dealing with suicide is never easy. It’s a shock and blow to one’s soul. And depending on the relationship, some people may never overcome the death, especially if it tends to be a child, parent, spouse or sibling.
Here are some recommendations on how to cope and heal from a loved one’s suicide
There are many forms of counseling such as support groups or speaking with a psychologist privately. The first and most important step to healing is to understand the steps of grieving and to communicate your voice.
People will bounce between stages of being mad, sad and angry. It is important to process those emotions as they come and continue support groups. These support networks can give insight on their healing mechanisms and give space for your space. Most people who bottle up their emotions end up in a worse space because they feel lost and not heard.
Build Up Your Spirit
From a spiritual perspective, everyone is on their own path in life. Humans come in and out of our life to learn lessons. Many people seek suicide as a way to escape pain. There is no way one should ever take blame for another person’s choice to take his or her life.
When low, build up your spirit. Whether that’d be walks through nature or scheduling a reiki appointment, ingest nothing but the natural and pure. It is easy to go on benders such as drinking or seeking pleasure externally through sex.
Journaling is another powerful healing method, especially when sitting in nature. Maybe you can take a walk down his or her favorite path? Or visit their favorite beach and have a conversation with their spirit? As much as it hurts, try to remember the positive qualities of what that person contributed to society or the world as a whole.
I thought my uncle was really selfish for what he did, but after consulting a psychic about his death it was expressed to me that his mindset caused him so much pain in this life. Consulting a psychic may not be for everyone but I received the clarity and answers I needed at that time.
Process Everything One Day at a Time
In moments of chaos, the power of NOW really helps. Time heals all wounds and it’s important to process those emotions you feel at the moment. Everyone processes things differently, but don’t be afraid to take a break or to stay busy. It’s a balancing act but some people can get depressed and not move forward, where workaholics want to stay busy but sweep their emotions under the rug because it’s too painful to think or confront the person’s death.
Regardless of how you handle your situation, just know the pain gets easier with time. For me, I felt completely healed at least 2 years after my uncle’s death.
Have you lost someone to suicide? If so, what coping mechanisms helped you heal from the person’s death?
Elizabeth Rae Kovar M.A. is Author of her memoir, Finding Om and is a Fitness Trainer, Yogi, Reiki Master, Presenter and Lover of Life. To view her portfolio please visit www.elizabethkovar.com