Grief is a very personal experience. Everyone progresses through it differently. What may help one person come to terms with a loss may alienate, disturb, even worsen the experience for someone else. I would suggest that you read as much as you can about the process, keeping any tidbit of information that makes sense to you. Realize, however, that there are losses that may never make sense. I will not tell you that this will be easy. I will not attempt to give you a time table to follow. I will only say that you will get through this. We have.
The materials below focus on the types of losses that were similar, in some way, to our own. Any loss is difficult to handle. Losing a father, mother, brother or sister will change your life. However, the loss of a child, at any age, is especially cruel. This is not the way the world is supposed to operate. Parents should not have to witness the death of their child. When that child is their only child, there is a dramatic change in their purpose, their reason for living. They will never be the same again.
There are many ways by which someone can die. Sometimes it is a gradual predictable transition such as a long term illness. But it can also be a shocking, immediate event such as an accident, murder or suicide. With a sudden loss of life there is little time to adjust to the situation. There is no opportunity to say goodbye. The "Why" and "What if" questions run rampant.
The death of a loved one never seems to make sense. A sudden illness, a tragic accident, an act of violence or war can all seem like an unreasonable twists of fate. But perhaps the most illogical cause of death is from suicide. It seems inconceivable that a living, breathing person would choose to end his or her life. With the exception of euthanasia, the problems that often lead to suicide are temporary inconveniences to the normal person. And yet these persons choose a tragic, permanent path to follow.
These are the things that have made our grief so unbearable. We lost a child, our son Shawn. He was our only child. The loss was sudden and unexpected. And it came by his own hand.
Reading materials for Loss, Grief, Suicide, and Hope:
|The Bereaved Parent||Harriet Sarnoff Schiff|
|Suicide of a Child||Adina Wrobleski|
|I Wasn't Ready to Say Goodbye||Brook Noel & Pamela Blair|
|My Son, My Son||Iris Bolton & Curtis Mitch|
|Grieving a Suicide||Albert Y Hsu|
|An Empty Chair||Sara Miller|
|But I Didn't Say Goodbye||Barbara Rubel|
|In the Wake of Suicide||Victoria Alexander|
|Crossing Over||John Edward|
|After Life: Answers from the Other Side||John Edward|
|One Last Time||John Edward|
|Facing the Ultimate Loss: Coping with the Death of a Child||Robert Marx & Susan Davidson|
|Grief Steps: 10 Steps to Recovery||Brook Noel|
|Schizophrenia and Addiction: The Guide to Unraveling Comorbidity and Finding the Path to Recovery||DrugrehabOrg|
|Comorbidity With Substance Abuse||Kathleen T Brady, MD, PhD|
|Bipolar Disorder and Addiction||DualDiagnosis.org|