By: The Seattle Lesbian
Losing a loved one to suicide is deeply painful. Survivors of suicide loss — particularly the recently bereaved — often have strong feelings of sadness and loneliness, as well as fear, anxiety, guilt, resentment and anger.
Most survivors find the intensity of these feelings eases over time, and that they are increasingly able to integrate the loss into their lives. But for some — perhaps as many as 200,000 each year — their acute grief does not change with the passage of time. Months or even years later, their grief is as intense and acute as it was in the earliest days. Their prolonged grief can be so powerful, consuming and chronic that it interferes with their ability to function in their daily lives. They suffer from “Complicated Grief.”
The first project of AFSP’s Survivor Research Initiative is to study the treatment of Complicated Grief among survivors of suicide loss, complementing a major Complicated Grief study currently being funded by the National Institutes of Health. This AFSP survivor research project is underway in four centers across the U.S. and is seeking participants in Boston, Mass.; New York, N.Y.; Pittsburgh, Pa.; and San Diego, Calif.