My partner killed himself yesterday, i am still in shock and haven't told people. I don't know how to deal with this and need help
November 30, 2011 11:38 AM   Subscribe

My partner killed himself yesterday, i am still in shock and haven't told people. I don't know how to deal with this and need help

I found out last night my SO committed suicide, he also left me a very emotional note

i have been non-stop crying and i just...dont know what todo my mind is just feels like mush and i cant think of ANYTHING.

i dont really know if i can handle talking to a counseller or a parent or friend yet

are there any books or anything out there i can read that will help me sort this out

posted by servix to Human Relations (57 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
Aside from anything else you might do, call the most reliable friend you have and ask him or her to make some phone calls for you, explaining that you would like notes but can't face talking to people right now and wanted to get the word out. Let your friend act as your intermediary.

In addition, contact a minister or counselor or relative who you trust and ask them for a little time to sit with you and formulate a plan for the next few days. Don't think past that.

That's it. Two phone calls. Then let others protect you and guide you.

Good luck. This is going to be hard, but you WILL survive it.
posted by Jenna Brown at 11:45 AM on November 30, 2011 [61 favorites]

Oh, my good gracious. I am so very sorry for you and those around you.

How about contacting a suicide hotline? Even if you're not having suicidal thoughts yourself (and I hope you aren't, but things are unpredictable), their staff will be impartial and likely have access to resources that can help you in these first difficult days.

Please remember that what he did was not about you; it was about him. That's not a judgment call in any way; that's the reality of a decision he made because of the things he couldn't get out of his own head. Lots of people will hear the news and think, "What could I have done?" No matter what other people might have done, the decision was still his alone.

There are lots of people, friends and strangers alike, who can help you or just listen. You are not on your own. Take care.
posted by Madamina at 11:45 AM on November 30, 2011 [4 favorites]

I'm so very sorry you're going through this. I can't recommend any books, but I can recommend telling at least one friend, someone who will just sit with you for as long as you need it. Ask him or her to come to you, if possible.

I'm so sorry.
posted by SeedStitch at 11:45 AM on November 30, 2011

This isn't your fault in any way shape or form. You were not responsible for this. You did not do anything to drive him to this. His actions were his own.

This isn't your fault.

This isn't your fault.

This isn't your fault.

You might not be able to handle talking to a counselor or friend, but tell them anyway. Don't keep this to yourself, up in your head. When you're ready to talk, they'll be there for you, at the ready.
posted by griphus at 11:46 AM on November 30, 2011 [25 favorites]

Jenna has excellent advice.

I am so sorry for your loss.
posted by cooker girl at 11:46 AM on November 30, 2011

Oh my, this is terrible -- I feel sorry for your loss.

1) Call a suicide help helpline NOW, this is seriously an emergency situation for your own psychological well-being. The emergency center at the end of the line will connect you with appropriate support services.

2) you can also go to the ER to request emergency psychological help. If you feel like you are breaking down, they will suggest treatment to hold you together until you can manage counceling.

If you can do either of these, ask your closest friend to help you. What you need right now is external confirmation that you are not alone and it is not your fault.
posted by knz at 11:47 AM on November 30, 2011

Jenna is right -- make just that one phone call, and then let THAT person do the thinking for you, just for right now. That person will understand and accept that you aren't able to think, and so will everyone else that hears about what happened.

And Griphus is also right -- this is NOT your fault.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:48 AM on November 30, 2011 [4 favorites]

I am so sorry you are going through this. I know you can't bear to talk about this right now, but I echo other suggestions that you need to talk to one person and then let them deal with the rest for you.

And, if you want a non-judgmental stranger to talk to, you and I are neighbours and I'm going to be in your town on Saturday.
posted by arcticwoman at 11:50 AM on November 30, 2011 [1 favorite]

yes. call someone you trust immediately.

you are afloat on the sea now and will be for a while. find some safe harbors. let them help you. let them listen to you and love you. you need friendship and love to deal with this.

i'm so sorry for your loss.
posted by memi at 11:50 AM on November 30, 2011

As you can see by having made this post here, sometimes it is a lot easier to talk about this with total strangers in a moderated setting than it is to deal with emotional upheaval from family and friends. Definitely call a suicide hotline and tell them everything you've already told us.
posted by elizardbits at 11:52 AM on November 30, 2011

Response by poster: Thank you all.
posted by servix at 11:53 AM on November 30, 2011

I want to repeat that the suicide hotline suggestions above are an excellent idea to consider. They will be an excellent potential resource to you for support, understanding, referrals, etc.

I am so very sorry for your loss; my heart goes out to you and I hope you are able to find safe harbors and the love and support of people close to you now and in the difficult days ahead.
posted by BigHeartedGuy at 11:58 AM on November 30, 2011

I am so, so sorry for you loss. I think the advice from all of those folks above is very sound. Let someone else carry the heavy stuff for the next few days. Whether that's a family member, a friend or someone at a hotline, you need someone to focus on taking care of you for the next little while. I am so sorry your partner was in so much pain. It's important that you know that this was not your fault. Wishing you peace.
posted by goggie at 12:00 PM on November 30, 2011 [1 favorite]

I'm so sorry for your loss.

Nthing "This isn't your fault" and "There are resources that will help you without judgment."

Wishing you lots of peace.
posted by Val_E_Yum at 12:01 PM on November 30, 2011

I am so sorry, this is so hard.

If you're looking for a few things to read right now, you might want to check out

- Dealing with a Loved One's Suicide from the Mayo Clinic - lightweight but very helpful in letting you know that the things that you are feeling are normal and okay.
- Surviving Suicide - one person's journey, a lot of stuff to read, terrible web design, okay to lose yourself there for a while.
- The American Association of Suicidology - academicky, but maybe helpful if your brain leans this way. Resources for survivors has a lot of extra links

Be kind to yourself and consider dropping MeFi's Own ColdChef a note. He is helpful with some of the mechanics of the just-after-death process and could help you if you had questions. He is also a wonderful man.
posted by jessamyn at 12:03 PM on November 30, 2011 [55 favorites]

I am so sorry for your loss. It is so difficult to imagine how I would handle such a situation, because I think my first instinct would be to crawl into bed and stay under the covers hoping it would all go away. I think you are already showing a great strength in reaching out for help on this forum.
posted by smithsmith at 12:04 PM on November 30, 2011 [2 favorites]

As noted above, call one trusted friend and ask them to notify everyone else for you and help be your advocate. Everything seems overwhelming but if you can just take that first step (well second, since you reached out to us on the green first), that will help make things immensely better.

Jessamyn is definitely spot-on about ColdChef.
posted by radioamy at 12:08 PM on November 30, 2011 [1 favorite]

Just echoing that you should call a trusted friend or relative and let them take care of you, get you anything you need, help you get through the next few days. You don't need to talk yet if you're not up to it- just make sure someone knows what you're going through and can be there for you.

I'm so, so sorry for your lost.

And most of all, as everyone else has said - This is not your fault.
posted by one little who at 12:16 PM on November 30, 2011

Just wanted to say that I'm so sorry for your loss. Losing anyone suddenly is incredibly shocking but there are a lot of people out there who care about you and want to help you. One of the hardest things to do is take that first step of calling someone who can give you a hand but it's absolutely imperative. I'm sure that you have been there for a lot of people before. Let them be there for you now. Sending you well wishes and my sincere condolences.
posted by kat518 at 12:23 PM on November 30, 2011

I'm really sorry to hear this. Everyone has given great advice, but I wanted to chip in and add a few things: please be gentle with yourself. It's not failure on your part that you can't do everything right away and call everyone right away and take care of everything this second. It's really, in disguise, a good thing, because you need to focus on your own self right now and your sadness and your loss, not worrying about logistics or other matters. Call the helpline, call that friend, memail Coldchef and don't feel bad about needing some time to get things done. Everyone will understand. And don't feel bad about asking for help-- many times the people around someone in this situation are literally waiting by the phone ready to help but may not know how to reach out to you. They will be so grateful and ready to support you if you ask. Above all, be kind to yourself.
posted by WidgetAlley at 12:23 PM on November 30, 2011 [3 favorites]

I'm so sorry for your loss. Please make that first phone call and let someone help you.
posted by dawkins_7 at 12:30 PM on November 30, 2011

I am so, so sorry for your loss. Please be gentle with yourself.

About four years ago, I had a profound psychological/psychiatric crisis and went to our local ER because I was coming apart at the seams. I was treated extremely kindly, professionally, and appropriately, and the people there got me the help I needed very quickly and efficiently. If you know you need help but you can't figure out how to get it, go ahead and go to the ER. Bring a book and a sandwich, because you might spend a few hours in the waiting room, but this is an appropriate use of those facilities and there are people who work there who will be glad to help you.
posted by KathrynT at 12:31 PM on November 30, 2011 [6 favorites]

I am so sorry. I know how raw this shock is. Please do reach out to someone to be your tether to the rest of the world from where your mind is now. It will be a relief, I promise -- that way you don't have to even try to force your brain to try to think about practical or mundane things, you can just feel. Trust that you can get through this, but don't worry about figuring out how just yet.

Also, this is small, but critical: please go eat something, and drink some water. Set an alarm for yourself so you remember to do this every few hours.

I'll be thinking of you.
posted by argonauta at 12:32 PM on November 30, 2011 [6 favorites]

Distress Line of Southwestern Alberta (Canadian Mental Health Association)
Serving Chinook Health Region and south part of Calgary
426-6 Street South, Lethbridge, AB T1J 2C9
Crisis 24 hours: 1-888-787-2880

Distress Centre Calgary
Serving Calgary and surrounding areas
Suite 300, 1010-8 Avenue SW, Calgary, AB T2P 1J2
Crisis 24 hours
Main Crisis Line:(403) 266-1605
Men’s Line: (403) 266-HELP

Telecare Calgary Suicide and Crisis Line
(Telecare Calgary) P.O. Box 4639, Station ‘C’, Calgary, AB T2T 5P1
Crisis 7days/week, 7am-11pm: (403) 266-0700

Info taken from here:
posted by arcticwoman at 12:34 PM on November 30, 2011 [6 favorites]

There are a number of things that helped me grieve and heal after my brother committed suicide:

(1) The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's website has articles and information to help you now, as well as referrals to support providers in your area to help you when you are ready to talk (counseling, etc.).

(2) Let people help you. Many people above have suggested that you contact one close friend and ask him/her to deal with the rest of the world right now. I think that's excellent advice. But in the coming days, the people who care about you will want to help you somehow. Let them -- whether it be with meals, chores, just keeping you company, or whatever, accept the love and know that you are not alone.

(3) Take care of yourself. I know you're in pain, in a fog, confused and scared. This is easier said than done, but try to eat and sleep and care for yourself properly. A healthy body lets you concentrate on healing your mind.

When you're ready, please talk to someone. Individual counselors and suicide survivors' support groups really do help. This will be a long journey, but you're not alone -- you're never alone. Feel free to MeMail me if you want to.

I am so sorry for your loss, and for what you're feeling right now. I'm sending you hugs.
posted by Boogiechild at 12:37 PM on November 30, 2011 [3 favorites]

A lot of employers in the US offer Employee Assistance Programs (EAP). These third-party services usually offer things like referrals for counseling and have literature on how to deal with important issues like death of a loved one that they can email you. You might see if your employer offers such a benefit.

I'm sorry for your loss.
posted by I am the Walrus at 12:38 PM on November 30, 2011

Also, it's perfectly okay to tell boss/professors/clients/coworkers/etc. simply that he passed away (or "died suddenly"). It can be hard, in the first days especially, to figure out how to talk about how he died, so if taking that pressure off yourself helps, then do it.
posted by argonauta at 1:05 PM on November 30, 2011 [10 favorites]

Oh I'm so very sorry. You've gotten a lot of sound advice here.

This exact thing happened to me several years ago. I was supposed to be visiting him, but couldn't make it that thing I knew he'd shot himself. The most helpful things for me were that a good friend sat with me and just let me cry and wail.
I then spent a lot of time with 2 mutual friends and we just supported each other in whatever ways possible.

Feel free to me-mail me and be very kind to yourself. There's no right or wrong way, nor is there any timeline on this.
posted by Gusaroo at 1:11 PM on November 30, 2011 [1 favorite]

I am so sorry. The above advice is really good; particularly calling someone you trust. But in case you're too overwhelmed to talk to anyone, there are also places online where you can post about your loss and seek help from people who have been in similar situations. See, for example, ... sometimes it's easier to reach out to strangers, at least at first, before you try to deal with telling family/friends.

Be very gentle with yourself; don't do anything rash for at least several days. If you get to a point where your mind is just racing and you can't stand it anymore, sit still and cup your hands around your forehead and just focus on breathing, or do "child's pose" from yoga if you know it. It's going to be very, very rough for a while but know that you're going to be ok.
posted by phoenix_rising at 1:15 PM on November 30, 2011 [1 favorite]

I am so sorry. You are going through one of the hardest, most painful and incomprehensible things in the world, so be kind to yourself. If you can bear it, choose a good friend to call, and ask them to come over and just take care of you for a while. They can make sure you eat/drink, and contact others, and field calls/emails. And just be there, so you can cry non-stop and not feel like you're adrift in a universe of inky blackness. You are not alone.
posted by chowflap at 1:20 PM on November 30, 2011 [1 favorite]

I am so sorry for your loss. I wish I could give you a hug.

If it helps to contact someone you know, when you are ready you could do it via email. That way you can read their responses whenever you want or ignore them for a while. I think people will understand.

I think the online support group is a really good idea. looks like a good resource. There's a list of reading materials here; scroll down to to the section for "Grief After Suicide."
posted by bunderful at 1:21 PM on November 30, 2011

Reading your post again I thought that you might have trouble reaching out because you are in shock and can't think straight. So if you need a boilerplate email to copy and paste and hit send, here it is.

"My partner passed away yesterday. I can't talk about it yet but I don't want to be alone and I need help with some things. Can you come over?"
posted by bunderful at 1:31 PM on November 30, 2011 [26 favorites]

Also, it's perfectly okay to tell boss/professors/clients/coworkers/etc. simply that he passed away (or "died suddenly"). It can be hard, in the first days especially, to figure out how to talk about how he died, so if taking that pressure off yourself helps, then do it.

Building off of argonata's advice, if you do decide to tell people anything yourself, remember that you don't owe them any more information than you are comfortable giving. I think a lot of times people immediately jump to "what happened?"-style questions when someone dies, maybe because they just don't know what else to say, but you are 100% right in giving them as much or as little detail as you choose. When my dad died, I had someone (who wasn't even very close to either of us!) come right out and ask if he had killed himself; this was over the phone so I basically just ignored the question but had I been face-to-face my expression would certainly have shut things down right there and then.

I'm so sorry for your loss. As everyone else has said, please be kind to yourself, and know there are people who care.
posted by DingoMutt at 1:32 PM on November 30, 2011 [2 favorites]

To add to all the amazing advice above, do not get trapped in the "If I had just done this or that then this would not have happened" mentality.

Even if the letter suggests that you could have prevented this. You could not have, because this was not about you.

griphus is %100 correct.
posted by Shouraku at 1:36 PM on November 30, 2011

I'm so sorry for your loss. I've lived through the suicide of a family member. I'm definitely still recovering from that.

For me, it's been useful to be physically around people, even if we're not talking about why I'm upset. An email/text message like bunderful has suggested might help you get that.

The most important thing right now is that you make sure you get the assistance you need to make it through the next few days.

Feel free to MeMail me.
posted by thegears at 1:43 PM on November 30, 2011


So very sorry for your loss--I can't imagine what you're going through. But you've got another stranger on the Internet pulling for you. Agreed that you should let a friend help you call the necessary people--email if you can't bear the phone at the moment. Be kind and gentle with yourself.
posted by smirkette at 1:48 PM on November 30, 2011

I am so sorry this has happened. You really need the support of the people around you. If telling them so you can get the support you need is unbearable, can you tell ONE person so they can make calls and send emails for you? Someone who is a friend to you, reliable, but who maybe wasn't so close to your partner?
posted by DarlingBri at 1:52 PM on November 30, 2011

I'm very sorry for your loss. Remember depression is an illness and we are not responsible for another persons choices. It may help you to read up on the stages of grief, shock is where you are at right now and having at least 1 go to person will be helpful because your mind, like you said, is mush.

Breathe and breathe again, you are not alone.
posted by gypseefire at 2:17 PM on November 30, 2011 [1 favorite]

My friend's ex-husband, and father to her three children, recently committed suicide. She was given the book Tear Soup. It not only helped her but has been a lifeline for her children as well.

I'm so sorry for your loss. May time heal.
posted by Sassyfras at 2:23 PM on November 30, 2011 [1 favorite]

I want to, right off the bat, Nth the suggestion that you memail ColdChef. He is an astoundingly wonderful human being who knows a lot about this process and based on my experiences with him will be eager to help.

Also Nthing that you need to find at least one friend who you can talk to about this, and have that friend be your "point person" for a little while. That fried will not only be a godsend now, but will also help with things down the road as you are recovering more. Right now you are in a haze and don't want to talk to people, but the time will come when you want to reintroduce yourself into your circles, and that friend is going to be very helpful in that regard.

This happened to a friend of mine this summer. She had just moved to a new state where she only really knew her fiance's family and friends, and while they were supportive, those of us who were only really connected to her online at that point were adrift on when it was okay to try to contact her, when she would be ready to talk, etc. Her "point" friend was able to get in touch with the rest of us about such things, eventually, which has been a big help to her.

This is absolutely not your fault, absolutely not your fault. And no matter what is in that letter, it is my opinion that a person who is in a truly suicidal state is not in any sort of frame of mind to be seeing clearly what effect their actions will have on those who love them. In that way, what your feeling is not entirely your partner's fault either. Sometimes things simply get beyond one's control.

Eat something. Keep yourself hydrated, take hot baths if you can, memail ColdChef, feel free to memail me, and take the very good advice in this thread, please.

You are not alone.
posted by Navelgazer at 3:24 PM on November 30, 2011 [2 favorites]

I am so, so sorry for your loss. Like everyone else has said, it's not your fault.


Make sure you eat.

See if you can get an emergency rx for sleeping tablets or anxiety medication from a family doctor - better yet, have the friend that you've asked to deal with everything for you call. Not sleeping will only make it worse.

Definitely memail ColdChef. You reached out to us once, and of any of us, he's the guy to talk to.

I'm praying for you, and I really hope you can get through this with the help of your community - both online and IRL.

posted by guster4lovers at 3:55 PM on November 30, 2011

I'm very very sorry you have to face this. It's awful.
Small but important:
Check 6 times for your housekeys and wallet if you go out. (If you're like me, you check 3 times under normal circumstances!)
Be slow and methodical with routines involving cash, credit cards, drivers license, passport etc.
Don't run for buses or the train. Take your time.
If you can avoid driving, do.
Check the burners on the stove before you go out or to bed.
Don't light candles for a while.
Skip booze and recreational drugs, especially if you are alone.
posted by thinkpiece at 4:08 PM on November 30, 2011 [9 favorites]

I am so sorry. It is a horrible shock. We lost my husband's sister this way. Jenna's advice to get a friend to come over, be with you, take care of things for you now that need doing is the best possible way to start. You do not have to talk, but don't be alone. I hope someone can be there for you.
posted by mermayd at 4:38 PM on November 30, 2011

It's not your fault, no matter what. Things will improve over time, you will make it through this.
posted by oceanjesse at 6:13 PM on November 30, 2011

I'm so sorry. This happened to my sister a few years ago. She is doing well now.

What really helped her at the time:

having friends and family around her

group therapy (greiver's groups)

individual therapy

continuing with her routines (though I'd imagine that would vary for some)

I called friends for her and was happy to do so. Your friends and family will come through for you.

I am so sorry. If you need someone to talk to you can memail me.Please don't give up hope.
posted by bearette at 6:26 PM on November 30, 2011

I've been thinking about you since I read this question. I am so, so sorry and I wish I could do more than type these words. Unfortunately I'm 1000s of miles away or I would seriously come over if you wanted that.

My cousin shot himself a few years ago. Not the same thing at all, but I can imagine if my husband ... I can't even type it without crying.

Please be patient with yourself. Don't rush anything. It's going to take a long, long time , but you will be okay, other people have moved past this dark place and survived. Do not feel any pressure to talk about it, get over it, etc.

Like others said, I hope you have a friend or family member that you can lean on. You will be surprised how supportive others can be. They won't know what to do or say, though, so guide them. Tell them "I just need to hug you for a long time" or "I need you to buy groceries." The best person is a mom, if not your own, then someone else's, because they know how to Get Shit Done Under Stress.

It might help to rant at strangers, so please free to memail me. You can call me and scream into the phone if you want to.

In time there will be books and therapy, but for right now just be patient and loving with yourself.
posted by desjardins at 6:33 PM on November 30, 2011 [1 favorite]

Also, take kleenex with you everywhere.
posted by desjardins at 6:34 PM on November 30, 2011

I can't give any better advice than what's already been given: Call someone, anyone, and ask for their help. Any friend or family member will do. They will pick up the ball and run with it. It must seem so hard to trust anyone right now, so let us do the trusting for you. There is a friend out there who can help you through this. Call that person. This person will call your family and other friends and get you through the night. That's all you need to worry about right now. Let tomorrow worry about tomorrow. Some food and a good night's sleep will help you a lot. You have to train for grief like an athlete--you need to be rested and nourished to get through it. Your friend can help you with this. If you don't take a prescription sleeping aid, a hot bath, a couple of Benadryl and a glass of wine should safely do the trick.

The funeral home will help you through all the arrangements on that end. You'll be presented with a lot of decisions, but you don't need to give them answers right away. Bring someone with you if you can.

Did this happen in your home? Find somewhere else to stay for a few days. Your friends and family will take you in and help you clean up, if necessary.

I am so very sorry for your loss. Please do make that phone call.
posted by elizeh at 7:53 PM on November 30, 2011

I would like to add that ColdChef, whom many people reference above, is an undertaker, and an unusually kind and sensitive one at that. He has supported many mefites through the loss of a loved one; that's why so many of us are suggesting you reach out to him.
posted by ocherdraco at 8:42 PM on November 30, 2011 [1 favorite]

I'm so sorry for your loss.

I hope that you have been able to reach out to someone where you are, so that your needs can be taken care of, whatever they are. There are people who love you and will want to be there for you so that you don't have to go through this alone.

Once you feel ready, this might be able to help you process all the emotions you'll feel. I hope it can help.
posted by droplet at 8:52 PM on November 30, 2011

First, I am so sorry for your loss. I can't say I've been through the same, and I won't pretend to know what it's like. All I can do is say what has worked for me during times of lesser trauma and loss.

Sometimes one of the worst things about such a shocking, horrible event is having to relay the news over and over and deal with people's reactions. I agree with others that finding a trusted friend to be your intermediary and/or broadcast your circumstances to friends may be helpful. YMMV, but I've also found facebook posts to be useful, in that I only have to post once and my whole support network knows what's going on quickly. I can also state my preference for if/how I prefer to be approached, if I know.

Basic life tasks may feel like moving mountains for a while, so do what you can (or get a friend to) to make them easy. During a time of loss, I lived largely on meal replacement shakes... stocking up on some form of easy food (easy to grab, no prep, easy on a stressed out system) was vital to me, because I had no will to cook and very little appetite. I had to find something I could listen to at night that would distract me enough that I could fall asleep rather than just spinning my wheels (Ira Glass became my insomnia boyfriend). I made a few rules for myself as far as other things I had to do every day (shower, spend time outside, make some kind of contact with the outside world... whatever works for you to keep some kind of baseline operational status), and also a few rules about things I would not do (drink alone).

At the same time, I think beyond a sort of military-esque, survival-mode attention to the basics, you have to be kind and forgiving with yourself, doing whatever little things bring you pleasure or peace. Everyone heals at their own pace, it will take time, and the process may be non-linear and full of bumps in the road. That's totally normal and totally ok.
posted by scandalamity at 10:09 PM on November 30, 2011

I am so sorry, servix. I wish I could make this easier for you.

MeFites are awesome people, listen to them. Call one friend and go from there. Lean on whomever you need to lean on. Do what you need to do for yourself at this point.

I am just shy of a year since dealing with the suicide of someone I loved very much and the first few months were horrendous. Tissues went with me everywhere as I would cry at the drop of a hat from something as stupid as seeing a can of pumpkin on the shelf.

For sometime you are going to be thinking of mainly what happened no matter how hard you try. It's ok and it will get better, slowly, but it will.

If you need an ear, drop me a line, I promise that I am completely nonjudgmental.
posted by sockpuppetnumber9 at 10:45 PM on November 30, 2011

I'm so sorry for your loss. I also experienced a suicide a few years ago and turned to metafilter for advice.

I can't remember if anyone told me this at the time, but my best suggestion is to find one simple, brainless thing that makes you utterly happy and do it. For me, it was going to hang out at the animal shelter for a whole afternoon and pet kittens. I had a friend take me and we just hung out in the kitten rooms and just did not think about anything except the tiny fluff balls that were climbing all over me.

I'll also nth the advice that you seek out some capable friend to help you make phone calls, etc. If you have anyone who can help take that pressure off of you, please reach out to them.

Lastly, be super patient with yourself. There's no timeline on the healing process, and it can be unpredictable. It was a long time before I had a day that I didn't think about suicide (not committing it myself, but I don't know how to explain it, just like, the fact of suicide in general, or of the person's death specifically)

Try not to have too many expectations about how you should feel now, or how you might feel later. Just know that whatever you're feeling is legitimate, and it's okay to feel that way. Please feel free to memail me.
posted by nerdcore at 11:59 PM on November 30, 2011 [4 favorites]

Thank you for posting this question.

I hope that you are able to reach out IRL to at least one or two people who can relieve even a bit of your burden.
It might not even be your closest family or friend--sometimes those a bit removed from the situation are best able to offer you help.

Also, don't fight your feelings or try to make them more "appropriate".
All of your feelings are valid, no one can say what is the right way for you to behave.

Please let us know what other information we might offer you.
posted by calgirl at 12:34 AM on December 1, 2011

I'm so sorry for your loss. I've gone through two suicides this year and they're heartwrenching in their own way. I've found that reading past AskMefi questions help - here are good people.

posted by divabat at 1:52 AM on December 1, 2011

servix, I am so sorry.

Reaching out here is a good first step. You will need support, and you've asked for it here, which is a good start. I agree with other posters who've suggested calling someone you know well and trust, as well as the posters who have suggested/provided suicide survivor resources.

This is so hard, and it will be for a long time. (I've experienced a suicide-related loss in a friendgroup, though not of a partner.) It's okay -- and normal -- to feel grief, to cry a lot, to feel confused, to feel overwhelmed, to not know what to say, to feel angry. Whatever you're feeling is what you are feeling and that is legitimate.

Take care of yourself. Be gentle with yourself. It will take a lot of time, and it will be difficult. Get in touch with people who can support you. Remember to eat. Try to get enough sleep. MeMail me if you need an ear. You're not alone.
posted by dryad at 7:16 PM on December 1, 2011

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