Surviving without Guilt and feeling left behind trying to heal the wounds of grief after suicide

Dealing with Suicide

Surviving Grief

Surviving grief requires time. Healing slowly begins over time.

A friend tragically lost her husband to suicide. So how does she learn to live life as a widow and survive alone?

Take that a step further, how can she learn to survive without guilt?

Surviving life is tough enough. When someone commits suicide, a lot of guilt is placed on those left behind.

Surviving without guilt takes courage, support, wisdom and love.

Leave everything on the table.

Do whatever is required to let go of the guilt.

Find support, talk to professional counselors.

The Heavy load of Guilt

Anger is one of the 5 stages of grief.

Processing the pain over the loss of someone you love opens doors of self-doubt. Asking ourselves over and over again, could I have done something? Did I ignore the signs?

We beat ourselves up over what we did or didn't do.

Then in walks the heavy load of guilt.

We blame ourselves for actions that took place. Somehow we believe we are responsible for the action, when in fact, we are not responsible. Anything we did or didn't do is not the reason they chose to end their life.

The first several weeks are the most difficult. We relive every conversation we had. Did we say something wrong? Did we give them a reason to lose hope? Maybe we were aware of their suffering and didn't realize how bad they felt.

We question everything.

Everyone has a choice but we are not accountable for them. We are only responsible for our own actions, our thoughts, our lives.

We cannot blame ourselves for what someone chooses to do. Maybe we did something that caused them hurt. Maybe we said something that made them feel unloved. Whether we said or did something is irrelevant.

Ultimately they chose the path of destruction, we did not.

Recovering from grief is a process.

The Pain is Heavy

In the Wake of Storms

Guilt Left Behind in Grief

It's a silent grief.

No one wants to talk about it. Maybe they are ashamed or maybe they feel lost. People don't know what to say. Depending how close they were to the person who committed suicide, each person feels some sort of guilt.

When friends and family don't know what to say, they sometimes pull back. They may be at a loss for words and don't know how to respond.

The survivor can simply explain that all they need is a friend.

The pain is heavy. The load of guilt carries a lot of weight. Compile that with the pain of grief and the hurt is tremendous. The loss, the emptiness takes its toll.

With questions unanswered, the silent grief bites the heart. Guilt climbs up and chokes the inside.

This is not the time to tell someone to get over it. Or say, you did the best you could.

Consuming grief is overwhelming. Suicide grief is relentless.

There is no responsibility or control when it comes to suicide.
Find support. Seek good council. Talk to family, friends and others who are going through the same thing. God designed the family to support one another.

Join a Grief Support Group. Many local churches provide this type of support. Sharing your pain and loss with others strengthens your healing.

Suicide is a disease of the mind. It doesn't make sense. Depression is dark and a serious condition. It should not be taken lightly.

In the wake of all that is loss, the future looks bleak. However survivors of grief can find support. When everyone goes home, and the survivors are left all alone to fight the demons, where will they find true healing?

The true source of healing can be found in Jesus. When you are on your knees, look up to the Heavenly Father, He will be your Great Comforter.

Depend on God. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13

God gave His son to die for you. He chose the nails to bear. His heart weeps with you.

Find healing in His word. Call upon Him to lift you out of the darkness.

  • Pray for your loved one.
  • Pray for your family.
  • Pray for your healing.
  • Pray for your sadness.
  • Pray for His love to wrap around you.

He already knows everything you are feeling.

  • God listens!
  • God hears!
  • God answers the calls of the afflicted.

He is ready to be your Savior. All you have to do is ask.

The Lord help you to bow your spirit in submission to the divine will ere you fall asleep this night, that waking with tomorrow's sun, you may go forth to the day's cross with the holy and submissive spirit which becomes a follower of the Crucified. – Charles Spurgeon

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Comments 7 comments

katiem2 profile image

katiem2 5 years ago from I'm outta here

A single parent to one of my daughters friends just admitted to me that her husband died from suicide. We never questioned why he had passed as it was such a touchy subject, we only knew she was left a widow with two kids.

She came to me one day and said, I wan't to tell you something because I know you well enough to know you won't pass judgement. She went on to tell me how it happened, how he went to the downstairs bathroom and did it while everyone slept. She has carried the quilt of not waking and saving him. I felt so bad for her and assured her he made certain she could not and if she had woke it would have been to late. He severed his carotid artery.

My prayers are with your friend as we will never understand the shock and horror she now deals with. We can however pray that it be lifted and cast out to the sea of forgetfulness, the guilt that is!

Peace, Katie


FaithDream profile image

FaithDream 5 years ago from (Midwest) USA Author

Katiem, thanks for sharing your story and lifting up in prayer. The pain associated with this grief is too heavy a burden. The family needs these prayers. God Bless.


Fossillady profile image

Fossillady 5 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

Wow! What a thoughtful and informative hub. You are helping a poor soul riddled with guilt and pain with nowhere to turn. There is help out there and you covered it nicely.


FriendofTruth profile image

FriendofTruth 5 years ago from Michigan

Sadly, I have a friend whose husband committed suicide. And because of it, she has had such a hard time with her life. She has nightmares, struggles with fear, struggles with the questions and guilt she thinks she has played in the event. It's very difficult when you try to give her comfort because she has so many unanswered questions. She is not Christian, so that makes it more difficult in trying to counsel her. Also, he seemed to have been the 'glue' that tied their family together so it's been hard on their children as well (they are all grown).

Sometimes, all we can do is pray for those who have been hurt, and trust that the LORD will lead us in what to say to them and in how to minister to them.


FaithDream profile image

FaithDream 5 years ago from (Midwest) USA Author

Thank you Fossillady. I really don't know what to say, so I wrote this article out of a sense of purpose.

Thank you FriendofTruth. You are right on. Sometimes all we can do is pray for those left behind. God heals all wounds and maybe they will be led to Him.

The world we live in is filled with such despair, as disciples of Christ we have the responsibility to preach the Good News. There is hope. My prayer is that someone will be led to Christ because I wrote this. God Bless You both.


The Minstrel profile image

The Minstrel 5 years ago from Hawaii

This was a very informative and well thought out article. Many, including myself, have benefited from this hub. Keep up the good work FaithDream. Awesome stuff.


FaithDream profile image

FaithDream 5 years ago from (Midwest) USA Author

Thank you Minstrel. I've had my share of guilt related stress over the loss of friends. I know this is not easy, but we tend to blame ourselves. It's a fight we cannot win, only heal from. I appreciate your commenting, thanks for your encouragement.

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