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How to Help a Survivor

"How to help" is probably the most difficult topic on this website, because what is welcomed and helpful for one person may be a turn off or hurtful to another. Each survivor's journey is different, so soak up that which is "good news" for you and let the rest for other readers. And consider feeding in your own reactions, stories and experiences at this page.

When we go through hard times,
friends become God incarnate to us
because they love us and accept us as we are.
What my friends have taught me [is]
don't try to give people answers.
There are no answers for many hurts in life.
Many times when we go through loss in life,
no one else can fix it.
Just be there, so I'm not alone.
Barbara Borntrager, mother of a son who died of a drug overdose

Some Myths of Suicide Loss

By Tony Salvatore. Understanding the misconceptions about suicide can help us know how to best help a suicide survivor.

Suggestions for Helping Survivors

Bereaved people, especially suicide survivors, need the support, love, and concern of their relatives and friends. Suggestions apply to both the time immediately after the suicide, including the funeral, and for as long as necessary afterwards.

She didn't try to talk to me,
she didn't try to quote scripture,
give me platitudes or religious jargon,
but she just sat with me.
Sheri Smucker, whose husband died by suicide



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