Often in a tragic situation such as suicide, the survivors are left with feelings of guilt and blame. However, sometimes that blame is dropped at the feet of a loved one. Right or wrong, it must be remembered that all family members are grieving and are feeling fragile. Their coping mechanism isn’t working properly and, because of this, trouble can arise in marriage and other relationship(s).

Luckily, this has not happened in my family. In fact, the events have brought my family closer together. However, I’ve seen the devastating effects it can have on other families and felt the topic was worth addressing, especially when I saw the following come through the support group I belong to.

I did not write the following, and cannot give credit to the person who did, because I don’t know who that person is.

  • Strive for good communication.
  • Talk about what is helpful to you.
  • Be sensitive to the needs of each other.
  • By reviewing past crises in your relationship you can gain an understanding of how to handle this one.
  • Avoid competition about who is hurting the most.
  • Consult each other regarding birthdays, holidays, and other family events.
  • Try not to expect too much from each other.
  • Read and educate yourself about the grief process.
  • Be aware that there are gender differences; there are differences between men and women and the way they deal with grief.
  • Avoid pressuring each other about decisions that can wait.
  • Take a short trip to “re-group.”
  • Appreciate each other’s grief and way of coping with it.
  • Ask each other what is helpful to him or her.
  • If you think it will help, seek professional guidance.

Don’t let this crisis destroy your relationship if it can be saved.