Reading or hearing stories from others who understand how you are feeling can be comforting. It may help you feel less isolated and alone.
Reading something from another perspective could help you understand an aspect of your story that you’ve struggled with.
Sharing your own story might help others or help you come to terms with your loss.
Is there something you learnt along the way? Something you think would help others? Is there a special way that you remember and pay tribute?
Postvention Australia hope to compile a library of stories from people just like you, people who know where you are now.
Help others, share your story.
Two brothers and a son
In this painting I have depicted my brothers and son in the form of the male Blue Wren. This is because the Blue Wren is our Grandfather’s totem. I have included the Goanna, echidna, butterfly, snake and tortoise due to the dreaming signs and what they stand for. My mother and grandmother are represented through the butterflies, due to their courage of survival and their journey through their own lives. They reflect an intricate entanglement within the lives of my son, my brothers and myself. This painting represents the strength and vulnerability of my family web and how, despite the final choice my son and brothers made, there is so much more to their story. The echidna represents the fun and laughter we shared together throughout their lifetime. The snake represents the growth that I had to make with adjusting to life without the presence of their physical beings. The Goanna gave me my spiritual guidance to enable my beliefs to gain strength. The tortoise showed me how to protect myself at my most venerable times. I have chosen the colours that flow through me in remembrance of my loved ones and the joy of the memories at that time. I paint my world with hope and love.
Artist: Bea Edwards
From: Bringing to life the experiences, skills and knowledges of the bereaved following suicide – Dulwich Centre Foundation
Suicide grief – Personal stories of suicide loss
Relationships Australia – Tasmania, compiled by Helen Scarr
People who are grieving following a suicide death are at increased risk of suicide themselves. At the time when their need for support is possibly greatest they are often isolated because people don’t know how to support them, or even realise that they need support. To people who are bereaved this booklet offers a ‘support group’ with the sharing of stories by others who are also bereaved following a suicide death as they learn to live through the aftermath.
This booklet may offer information to family and friends; psychiatrists, psychologists and counsellors; medical and allied health workers; employers and work colleagues of the bereaved to help them understand some experiences of those left behind after a suicide.