Research tells us that for survivors of a family member’s suicide, it takes about three years to reach a new sense of normalcy and potential healing. Although healing may be a task we work at for the rest of our lives, for most of us our thoughts eventually start to turn to our own lives, and our own questions, rather than our partner’s.
This section is for women who feel ready to move forward. Although that's around three years for many, this time may come sooner or later for you. If you are a few years out from the suicide and are still routinely feeling the serious distress discussed in earlier pages, I encourage you to seek professional counseling support for a while. Complex bereavement is a risk for suicide survivors and for many reasons, starting with the temptation to put the whole thing out of mind earlier on, some people get caught in deep grief, in a way that hampers daily functioning and seems unending. Again if this feels familiar, please speak to someone, starting with your family physician if that's what feels comfortable, and skip this section until you feel more future focused.
If you’ve done the hard work of grieving, it will slowly, but steadily start to feel like you are ready for a new beginning, although you may have no idea what that’s supposed to look like. Periodically, you may continue to have bad days that feel like two steps backwards, but that's normal and may continue to be the case for a really long time. Some women are in a relationship with a new partner by now. If that was a good step for you, just resist the temptation to let your focus on your partner keep you from working on the painful basic construction of a new self because, in general terms, it seems like we have two significant existential jobs right now, and they intersect and mesh as you grow day by day.