“The world stands still, but life goes on.”
You’ve been left behind.
You’re shattered, stunned, lost.
It will take a long time for you to recover from this, to understand what, exactly, has happened, and what the rupture will mean for you in the long run.
Try to go about your daily life as usual if only so as to have a structure and hence predictability in the face of chaos. Talk to people you know and trust. Ask them for support and let them help you.
It is also important that you take as long as you need to calm down, to regain your equilibrium and, eventually, to heal.
This is how participants in our self-help group came to terms with what they had experienced:
“The most important thing for me was being able to talk to people who understood me.”
“What I found helpful was giving myself time to grieve and finding a way to say goodbye that entailed consciously going through each stage in the process of leave-taking.”
“I tried to cling onto my daily routine, both at home and at work. That helped restore my confidence and reassured me that life goes on.”
“I needed a lot of time for myself so I went to my employer to discuss how my working hours might be reduced.”
“I tried to remind myself of things that had helped me through tough times in the past and then made a point of actually doing them in practice: going for walks in the countryside, listening to music, spending time together with people close to me, going to church and lighting a candle or praying, imagining a guardian angel who is always there for me.”
“At some point I realized I simply couldn’t cope alone. The scenes and images were there all the time. I felt guilty. I felt ashamed. And I was so frozen I couldn’t even grieve. After a long time, I finally asked a friend for help and she then took me to a therapist.”
“I felt so terribly alone with my story. But then I joined a self-help group and met people who had been through the same thing. This form of solidarity is still a great source of strength.”
Here I can be sure of finding understanding and sympathy. Sharing my personal story has made it more complete and more individual. Having been lost for words for so long, it feels good to be emerging from the silence.”
“It took me a long time before I could fathom the unfathomable. Now I know that this experience will remain part of my life forever.”
The loss itself is difficult to bear; but so is the feeling of impotence, of having had no influence. Coming to terms with a suicide is a long and arduous process, which each of us has to tackle in our own individual way. Whichever way we choose, however, we all need sympathy, support, and help in our everyday lives, and the warmth and respect of others: your patience, strength, and reassurance.
You might at some point feel unable to cope alone. If so, you should seek professional help. The first person to contact might be your family doctor or the local pastor. Talk to them about what happened, about your grief, and about your fears for the future.
Notruf Kinder und Jugendliche
(hotline for children and young People)
0848 35 45 55
Elternnotruf (hotline for parents)
061 261 15 15
Ärztliche Notrufzentrale Notfallpsychiater
(emergency psychiatric Services)
061 325 51 00
Notfall für Erwachsene, Jugendliche
(emergency psychiatric services for children and adults)
061 325 81 81
UPK Basel Akutambulanz
Offene Sprechstunden für Erwachsene
(walk-in psychiatric clinic for adults)
Mon to Fri 8 a.m.–4 p.m.
061 553 56 56
Psychiatrie Baselland, Liestal
Notfall für Erwachsene
(emergency psychiatric services for adults)
061 325 82 00
Kinder- und Jugendpsychiatrie Basel
(psychiatric clinic for children and young People)
061 553 55 55
Psychiatrie Baselland, Liestal
Notfall für Kinder und Jugendliche(emergency psychiatric services for children and young People)
061 689 90 90
Zentrum Selbsthilfe Basel
(centre for self-help Groups)