These 4 things may help you cope with the shock from parent suicide, if you’ve lost a mom or dad to this terrible tragedy:
When enduring such a loss, it’s important for the child, or even the adult-child left behind, to work through their own pain and grief. So besides talking about your feelings regarding your loss, here are 4 things you can do to help work through the shock of losing a parent to suicide.
1. Forgive yourself.
First of all, know that no matter how you feel, your parent’s suicide is not your fault. Perhaps you missed a clue, or you were absent, or you weren’t tuned in, or didn’t try hard enough to cheer your parent, or perhaps you even quarreled. None of these, or other things, make your parent’s suicide your fault. Your parent is responsible for his or her own actions, not you.
If you are dealing with false-guilt, or even if you are dealing with earned guilt, you need to forgive yourself. This may be something you can only do through God’s power. Try praying this simple prayer:
God, I give the guilt I feel, false or real, concerning my parent’s suicide to you. I ask that you supernaturally remove it from my shoulders and place this guilt on the shoulders of Jesus. I do this because Jesus wants to carry my guilt for me so that I can be free. Give me the strength, your strength, to let go of these feelings of guilt.
In your power Lord, I choose to forgive myself. I choose to let go. I choose to be free. Lord, I trade my guilt for the peace that passes understanding.
In Jesus’s name,
2. Forgive the person who died.
Of course you have feelings of anger because of what happened. Your loved one murdered themselves. And though you will always wish this had never happened, and even though you will always miss your loved one, and even though you will never approve of what they did, you can still forgive them as part of your own healing journey.
God, what my parent did was not in their (or anyone’s) best interest. I feel angry and hurt that they would leave me in such a way. And though I may never understand or ever condone their final act, I am asking you for your strength to help me forgive them because I do choose to forgive them. And as I forgive them, I ask that you forgive them too.
In Jesus’s name,
3. Forgive God.
Sometimes it’s hard to forgive God when your loved one, especially your parent, takes their own life. After all, wasn’t God powerful enough to stop them from such an act?
The answer to this question is yes. But even so, God is a gentleman. He never overpowers us, but waits for us to call upon his name when we need his help. Perhaps your parent didn’t understand or wait on God in their depression or trauma, but — you can. You have the power to keep from repeating the mistake your parent made by turning to God, by calling on his name for help, comfort and for peace. One of the best ways to make peace with God is to forgive him for not preventing their death.
God, I know you are not the one who inspired my parent to take their life, but my feelings are hurt, my anger is stirred, because you did not stop it. So, in an effort to reconcile with you, I give you my anger at you and I choose to forgive you. I am letting go of any offense I have against you because of this tragedy. Give me the power to forgive you, to let go, and to choose your peace and comfort. I call upon you Lord, to help me through this difficult time.
In Jesus’s name,
4. Pray against Trauma and Grief
The trauma you are feeling is real. But you can even give your trauma and grief to God and calm the torment. Pray this:
God, I give you all the trauma I am feeling and I ask that you remove it from me. In addition, I tell the enemy who would use this trauma and grief to keep me bound in depression, to go. Also, I cancel the spirit of trauma and grief off of my life because through God’s power, I choose not give in to it. I choose to not allow trauma and grief to write the script of my life. So, in it’s place, I call upon the peace, love, grace, and the mercy of God. Through the power of God, my life will be a positive journey of hope.
Thank you Lord for setting me free.
In Jesus’ Name,
You may find it helpful to print out these prayers and to pray them daily or as often as you need to so to continue your healing.
Know we are praying with you!
Perhaps you would find strength by this story behind the loved song, “It is Well with my Song,” as told by Bill Gaither. The story is followed by the song itself by Guy Penrod and David Phelps.
Suicide bereavement support groups can also be helpful. To find a group in your area, you can click HERE to a directory posted by the AFSP (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention).
Also for help in finding a Christian counseling therapist, you can visit the Meier Clinics website.