The aftermath of losing a loved one to suicide can result in profound, even traumatic, grief. The bereavement process following a suicide loss can be as close to overwhelming as anything in life. If you find yourself bereaving the loss of a loved one who took his or her life, you need to consider what may be helpful to you when it comes to grieving and healing. Music has been demonstrated helpful when it comes to grieving the loss of a loved one to suicide. There are a number of facts you need to bear in mind when it comes to music to heal and grieve the loss of a family member or friend to suicide.
Grief Compounded by Other Emotions
At the outset, and before considering how music can help to heal and grieve following a suicide, you need to understand that grief in the aftermath of the loss of a loved one by suicide is significantly compounded by other emotions. These other emotions that enhance the intensity of grief are:
Oftentimes, following the suicide of a loved one, those left behind experience profound shock. You may be in a state of disbelief that your loved one killed his or her self.
In addition, if you are like many people who lost a loved one to suicide, you may be angry. Indeed, the level of anger you experience may be significant.
You are likely to also find yourself going through a myriad of what-if scenarios. You may think that you failed to do something that could have prevented your loved one from taking his or her life. The level of guilt you face can be profound, and further aggravates your overall sense of grief.
Your grief may be so significant that you begin to experience despair. The shocking reality is that many people experience such a profound level of grief and despair following the suicide of a family member or friend that they start to consider taking their own lives.
You may really struggle trying to understand why your loved one did what he or she did. Indeed, you are highly likely to never understand why an important person in your life committed suicide. Rejection is yet another emotion that interrelates to grief. You may truly believe your deceased loved one rejected you by committing suicide.
Finally, many people who lose a family member or other loved one to suicide experience an intense sense of shame. Shame experienced by a good number of survivors of suicide loss. Feeling shame significantly intensifies grief associated with the death of a loved one at his or her hand.
In the grand scheme of things, music can be helpful not only in the grief and bereavement process but in addressing these other interrelated emotional responses to the death of a loved one by suicide.
Music, Grief, and Healing Following a Loved One’s Suicide
A considerable amount of research has been done in regard to the role music can play in lessening grief and leading to healing after a loved one passes on, including a family member or friends who has died by suicide. Through this research, three fundamental factors or themes have been recognized when it comes to the connection between music and healthy grieving and ultimate healing following the suicide of a loved one.
First, music is capable to setting the stage for you to be able to reflect on of the loss of a loved one by suicide. music also has the capacity to assist you in better expressing yourself. Honest, thorough reflection, coupled with the ability to directly and accurately understand and express how you feel, are important elements associated with successfully maneuvering through the bereavement process.
Second, music has the capacity for connecting you with other people and the community at large when you are in the bereavement process. In the absence of such connections, loneliness and isolation can become profound. Grief can fester, become unhealthy, and lead to a crisis in a bereaving person’s own life. The potential bridge provided through the use of music can lessen the chance that the grieving process becomes unhealthy and unnecessarily overwhelming.
Finally, incorporating music into the bereavement process provided a pathway through which you can pay tribute to the life of or memorialize the memory of a loved on that has died at his or her own hand. People are more apt to grieve in a health manner when they can honor the life and memory of a person who has passed, including a loved on that has died by suicide.
Seek Professional Assistance
If anguish arising from the bereavement process becomes unrelenting and does not abate, even with the utilization of healing aids like music, the next step may be to seek professional assistance. An experienced grief counselor or therapist can provide vital support and assistance when you are faced with the loss of a loved one by suicide.
A variety of therapeutic resources are available to you, including group therapy and one-on-one counseling. You might also consider becoming involved in music therapy as part of an overall effort to heal and grieve the death of a loved one by suicide.