A new Suicide Loss Support Group has formed to help community members who are facing this distinct type of loss.
“Suicide grievers have three basic needs as they begin their journey to recover from their loss: to understand their bereavement is a ‘normal’ aftermath of an abnormal and tragic loss; to have support in coping with their grief; and to develop an understanding of suicide and the dynamics leading to the loss of their loved one,” says group leader Jill Englar, Carroll Hospice’s director of bereavement and volunteers.
Suicide loss is different from other losses, explains Englar, because of the stigma it often carries and misconceptions that may cause loved ones to feel isolated and even abandoned. Group attendees will receive support and help with understanding the question of “why?” with those in similar circumstances.
“While suicide is beginning to be seen as the outcome of a process of physical and psychological breakdown, many people still regard it as a conscious decision on the part of their lost loved one,” she says. “This leads the bereaved to viewing the suicide as the victim’s decision to leave them rather than as a response to unbearable pain.”
The Suicide Loss Support Group meets the second Tuesday of each month from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Carroll Hospice’s Dove House. No registration is required. For more information, please call 410-871-8000.