What can help?

Grieving is a lonely painful process and each person needs to work through it at his or her own pace in his or her own way. It may be comforting to know what has helped others.

“For a while, I tried to stay strong for everyone. I worked a lot and played sports and hung out with friends all the time.  I did anything to keep busy so I wouldn’t have to miss him. I couldn’t think about him not being there anymore.  I know now that I should have talked to someone.” – Michael 

“I have a picture of him in my mind playing basketball, concentrating so hard like no one else is there.  I can picture him laughing with his friends after. This is how I try to remember him.”   -- Anne

Talk to others.  Speak of your pain and your loss.

Don’t suppress and avoid your grief.   Denying your feelings only keeps the pain locked inside.  Try not to deny your own pain in order to spare others distress.  If you don’t want to express your pain in another person’s presence, still try to express it alone, maybe in a journal, or to someone else you trust. If you want to talk anonymously, call the Samariteen Talk Line at 1-800-252-TEEN (8336).  You do not have to be suicidal to take advantage of the hotline.  The counselors are there to listen. They take many calls from teens who just need to talk.

Acceptance is the key to healing for the survivors of suicide.  Learning about the complexities of suicide may provide some answers to questions survivors have.  Although why? may not be fully answered, understanding that the reason for the suicide was to escape the pain can be a help. Remembering the positive aspects of the person’s life can be comforting.  What did she care about or like to do?  What was he good at?  Think of a fun time you had together.

Take care of yourself.  So much energy is used just to cope, often survivors feel exhausted and depleted.  Accept the support of others. Be willing to seek out more help if you feel you need it. You live in a community that cares about you and your pain. If you are unsure who to contact in the community who can offer help, click on the Community link.

Time doesn’t completely heal, but it helps you realize you are tolerating your loss.

For more help, check out these websites: Handbook for Suicide Survivors
Support for teens and children who are grieving the death of a loved one.

Here are some helpful books which can be purchased through

Dying to Be Free: A Healing Guide for Families after a Suicide by Beverly Cobain and Jean Larch   This is a healing guide written with compassion and insight by Beverly Cobain, a psychiatric nurse and cousin of Kurt Cobain, lead singer of Nirvana who died by suicide in 1994 and Jean Larch, a crisis intervention specialist.  Beverly Cobain has also written When Nothing Matters Anymore: A Survival Guide for Depressed Teens.

When a Friend Dies: A Book for Teens about Grieving & Healing by Marilyn E. Grootman, Ed.D.  This is a short book written by a teacher and writer who has experienced the suffering of her own children from the death of a friend.  It does not address suicide specifically, but rather the feelings teens have when they have lost a friend. The tone is compassionate and respectful of teens’ thoughts and feelings.


Hurting yourself is NEVER
the right answer.
There are people who can help.

For immediate help call
911 or

Riverside Emergency Services

Newton Wellesley Hospital

To talk with someone call
Samariteen Hotline
1-800-252-TEEN (8336)

Samaritan Helpline
1-877-870-HOPE (4673)

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Support and Help Around You