We often hear the phrase we must do the work to move forward in our grief journey. But what exactly is the work? While everyone grieves in their own unique way, Psychologist J. William Worden provides a framework of four tasks that help us understand how people move through grief in a healthy way.
You’ve probably seen the recent statistics about the suicide epidemic — that suicide rates over all have risen by over 30 percent this century; that teenage suicides are rising at roughly twice that rate; that every year 45,000 Americans kill themselves. And yet we don’t talk about it much. It’s uncomfortable. Some people believe the falsehood that if we talk about suicide, it will plant the idea in the minds of vulnerable people. Many of us don’t know what to say or do. A person may be at risk of dying by suicide when he or she expresses hopelessness or self-loathing, when he or she starts joking about “after I’m gone,” starts giving away prized possessions, seems preoccupied with death, suddenly withdraws or suddenly appears calm after a period of depression, as if some decision has been made.
Bob Riley stressed the importance of using the term "died by suicide" rather than "committed suicide" when referring to suicide victims. "We die of many different things," he said. "We can die of a heart attack but we can also die by suicide. That alone can help a person cope."