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Suicide Survivors Bereavement Support Group

When you lose someone to suicide, you may find that it is the kind of death, and grief, that most people are very uncomfortable talking about. This group at Foundation 2  will help you put aside that discomfort to get the help you need.

Who Is Eligible?

The group is open to spouses, brothers or sisters, parents, adult children, or friends of suicide victims. Survivors at any stage of their grieving process are welcome. As a way to have contact and information about the group before attending the first time, we encourage you to call our facilitator, Nancy Oehlert, at 319-362-2174.

Meeting Times

The group meets on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month, 6-7:30 p.m.  

Where Do The Meetings Take Place?

Please contact Nancy Oehlert for location information.

How much does it cost?

 There are no fees to attend the group. Free-will donations are appreciated.

What's Involved?

  • Listening: Share feelings and explore painful questions in a supportive environment. Members also share coping techniques.
  • Reassurance: Know you are not suffering alone, and that your reactions, thoughts and feelings are not unusual.
  • Opportunity: Reaching out, even in the midst of your own pain, to help others in a similar situation can be a healing experience in itself.
  • Information: Learn the facts about suicide, grief and depression.

Are My Feelings Normal?

To be at peace with the deceased, survivors must grieve. Aside from the typical aspects of grief, as a suicide survivor, you may be experiencing:

  • Stigma: Other people—sometimes even your relatives and friends—may avoid you or even blame you for the death. You might feel ashamed that such a thing happened in your family.
  • Guilt: Because suicide has been called "the preventable death," you may think you could have kept it from happening.
  • Rejection: You may feel abandoned, reasoning that, because your loved one chose death, he or she chose not to live with you.
  • Anger: Your pain can take the form of anger toward the deceased, toward professionals for not preventing it, toward yourself, or even toward God.
  • Questioning: Survivors can be overwhelmed wondering why the person took his or her life. You may wonder what you could have done to prevent it.

It is hard for anyone to really understand a loss from suicide, but talking with others who have been through the same experience can help you begin adjusting to the death.
 

For More Information

Call Foundation 2 Crisis Center at 319-362-2174 in the Cedar Rapids, Iowa, calling area or 800-332-4224. You can also e-mail noehlert@foundation2.org or stop in at 1540 2nd Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids.

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