After a suicide attempt, whether or not your loved one survived the attempt, you will grieve. You will probably grieve even if your loved one survived: you may grieve the loss of a “normal” life, the loss of innocence or ignorance about your loved one’s condition, or the loss of the person your loved one used to be before the attempt. All of these reactions are normal and are nothing to be ashamed of or to hide.

Grief typically has five stages:

  1. Denial
  2. Anger
  3. Bargaining
  4. Depression
  5. Acceptance

These stages are not set in stone, however. In your personal grieving process, you may enter these stages out of order, or skip some, or return to some after you thought you were done with them. People may try to tell you how you should be grieving; while they are well-meaning, what they’re saying is not helpful. Every person has their own grieving process that is entirely unique. You and everyone else involved in this situation will react differently and will grieve differently. And that’s okay.

So, if you think that you’re grieving “wrong” compared to everyone else, please cut yourself some slack. No two grieving processes are alike, because no two people are alike. Grieve how you need to, and talk to people who want to support you during this tough time. Give yourself permission to seek professional help from a grief counselor or mental health provider.