A Mesage For Survivors

The Survivor,

Time heals all wounds is not necessarily true for survivors of suicide. Time is necessary for healing, but time is not enough. 

Because of the social stigma surrounding suicide, survivors feel the pain of the loss, yet may not know how, or where, or if, they should express it. Yet, the only way to heal is to mourn. 

Just like other bereaved persons grieving the loss of someone loved, suicide survivors need to talk, to cry, sometimes to scream, in order to heal.

Grief following a suicide is always complex. Survivors don't "get over it." Instead, with support and understanding they can come to reconcile themselves to its reality.

Don't be surprised by the intensity of their feelings. Sometimes, when they least suspect it, they may be overwhelmed by feelings of grief. Accept that survivors may be struggling with explosive emotions, guilt, fear and shame, well beyond the limits experienced in other types of deaths. Be patient, compassionate and understanding.

As a result of fear and misunderstanding, survivors of suicide deaths are often left with a feeling of abandonment at a time when they desperately need unconditional support and understanding.

Without a doubt, suicide survivors suffer in a variety of ways: one, because they need to mourn the loss of someone who has died; two, because they have experienced a sudden, typically unexpected traumatic death; and three, because they are often shunned by a society unwilling to enter into the pain of their grief.

Support groups are one of the best ways to help survivors of suicide. In a group, survivors can connect with other people who share the commonality of the experience. They are allowed and encouraged to tell their stories as much, and as often, as they like. You may be able to help survivors locate such a group. This practical effort on your part will be appreciated.

If you are a survivor,  we at NAEF are very sorry for your loss. 

As survivors ourselves, we know that no one can understand what each one of us are going through. We do however, want to share with you a prayer for you and your love one from our NAEF pastor. 

A Prayer For You

  Dear Heavenly Father,

  I haven't experienced this particular type of loss that this person is going through, yet I know
  from what I have learned over the years, that this type of loss never goes away. People and
  books on the subject tell me so. 

  So on behalf of this survivor and their love one, I offer this prayer in their time of  grief and
  need based on what I understand to be Your eternal love and plan.

  First, I give thanks to you God for your abiding presence. 

  Second, I give thanks to you God for this survivor's love one's  life, even though it was too
  short in our limited understanding. 

  Third, In Paul's writing to the church at Rome (Romans Ch. 8), he reminds us that nothing will
  separate us from the love of Christ." For I am convinced," he writes, that neither death, nor life,
  nor angels, etc., nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of
  God in Jesus Christ our Lord. 

  Fourth, I know you knew their love one before they were born.  My faith teaches me that
  through your grace and mercy God, that you have received their love one home. I also thank
  you Father for your great promise that through you they will see each other again one day.

  Father, I ask for your continued guidance for this survivor through their journey of grief and
  that you continue to surround them with your love and hope.

  For it's in your son's most precious name I pray,


  Rev. Gene Pillow
  Methodist Pastor
  NAEF Pastor Advisor

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
- Psalm 34:18 (NIV)

Nathan Alan Eisert Foundation


© Stephen Ulrich 2013