“A key moment was when I started talking to fellow survivor relatives. There were many similarities that I discovered, numerous experiences and sentiments that we shared. Most of them had not anticipated or seen warning signs that the person would step out of life; however, at same time, there was nearly always fear and tension for years prior to the death that often stemmed from psychological problems.The relatives are all coping in different manners and trying to finding different ways of moving on. But, I was surprised that some relatives felt a sort of relief after the death. Everybody felt guilty about this feeling but the relief seemed to be quite a normal sentiment for some, especially if the person who died had a long history of needing psychiatric help. Of course, you have the same deep feelings of mourning but it feels strange that you can feel relief after losing someone you love. For survivors, the fact that they lost their loved one to suicide remains a shock, compounded by feelings of impotence and the questions that will remain unanswered for eternity.”

(Un)expected by Peter Dekens (2/4)

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