There are a wide variety of feelings and thoughts that adults, children and teenagers can experience when bereaved by suicide e.g. numbness, shock, disbelief, guilt, anger, relief, rejection & betrayal, shame & blame. Please refer to the handouts on The Grieving Process and Bereaved by Suicide for further explanation on these.
Grieving a suicide is very public and we may be very sensitive to people’s reactions to us. We also have a need to make sense of the death, asking why, remembering the last times spent together and last conversations. Children and teenagers have similar needs and may have many questions and adults need to ensure we respond to their needs as they arise at different stages.
Death is a part of life. Children are more resilient than we give them credit for. Given TIME & SUPPORT most people come to terms with very difficult situations. Trust yourself and your instincts, you haven’t forgotten how to be a parent and you know your child better than anyone.
Extended family, friends and teachers are all very important sources of support for children and teenagers. There are also specific supports available for them e.g. HSE Psychology, Barnardos, Winston’s Wish. Please refer to the handout on ‘Supports and Services’ for further details.