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According to Hoffman (2012), any survivor of suicide has to go through a really tough experience. He noted that even if their grief reaction may seem common to those experienced during other common forms of loss, they often have to go through a number of difficult and strong emotions. This write up seeks to explain the lived experience of being a survivor of suicide. It is a life characterized with confusion, quilt, shame, anger, trauma, and blame.
The survivors of any suicide normally develop anger against the dead and ask themselves why they had to do it for them. Such questions often arise from the fact that the survivors normally feel that the dead had committed suicide to reject them because they may not have been worth being lived for. Some have even raised issues with God questioning why he allowed such a horror to happen (Gibson, Gallagher & Jenkins, 2010).
Hoffmann (2012) identified shame as another strong feeling that the survivors of suicide have to battle with. He noted that shame is normally magnified by the stigma and the negative perception that is usually associated with suicide by the society. The majority of the victims have even interpreted the decisions by their friends to mean that they had failed in their role to be good friends to them. Such a group of people may want to keep the information of the death of their loved ones or live in the denial of the horrific reality, which is even worse because it may meet objections form other relatives of the deceased.
Knaffo (2004) also identifies quilt as another emotional issue that the survivors of suicide have to battle with. He noted that survivors have remained guilty for a long time because of the feeling that they failed to prevent their loved ones from dying. They seem to own the blame for the death of the individual. They seem to believe that they are solely responsible for the death because they had failed to be sensitive or caring enough to know the intention of the diminished. This guilt may also result from the knowledge that the survivor had not established a really good relationship with the dead.
Dyregror (2011) notes that because of the sudden nature of suicide, any suicide survivor usually experiences much confusion as it leaves the survivor trying to get into terms with what has happened. The confusion normally becomes even greater in situations where it was not clear whether the person had committed the act intentionally or not. For a long period of time, the survivors are asking themselves of what exactly had taken place and trying to imagine how it happened.
The survivors of suicide also normally blame themselves for having failed a responsibility. Blame is very common among survivors of suicide because it makes them feel like they are in control. It enables the survivors to seek answers to the many questions that disturb them, even though none of them may be answered (Denis, 2009).
Finally, most of the survivors of suicide are normally traumatized. The memories of the site of the whole event normally keep on coming into their minds, especially in cases where they had witnessed the happenings. Knaffo (2004) notes that even in cases where the survivors did not witnessed the event firsthand, the imagination of how it may have happened is even more traumatizing.
In conclusion, it is clear that whether the survivor was an eye-witness or not, the impact of the event still remains tragic. Because this is an act that may continue in any society, there is a need to train the citizens on the coping measures to help them during such times. The societies must also be trained to enable them change their perception about the whole issue in order to reduce the resulting trauma on the survivors.