Welcome to ReachOut.com’s Ask the Expert service
Through this service the ReachOut.com team will be working with a group of professionals and experts who have detailed and specialist knowledge of youth mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. They are available to answer questions and address your concerns. The issues covered will be the same as those covered throughout ReachOut.com, but through this service we will be able to provide valuable insight into more specific and personal concerns you may have.
Questions and answers
Each month we will concentrate on one particular mental health area and work mainly with one specific collaborator. Ciarán Austin from Console is our featured expert for the month of December taking your questions about loss and grief from any one who has been affected by suicide.
We won’t have all the answers to every question – but we do have access to the best available information, so let us know what’s on your mind by submitting a question here.
Your question and an answer will be published here at the beginning of each week in December, so you may wait up to a week for an answer.
The advice provided through this service is not intended to replace face-to-face professional advice or any on-going support that a person may be receiving. If you or someone you know is in crisis now you should go to emergency support information.
Rebecca says: My mum committed suicide when I was 13 and shes gone 26 years sunday past and I get so low coming up 2 her anniversery and I was wonderin if i’l ever get over it.she took her own life cos my father was beatin her.
Thanks very much for getting in touch with us and for sharing how you’ve been, particularly around your mum’s anniversary. Rebecca if there is one important thing to keep in mind, it’s that there is no standard time period, or way to grieve for someone we’ve lost. Everyone does so in their own way and in their own time; the circumstances of every death by suicide are fairly unique and we all have different capacities to cope. It’s very natural to wonder if we will ever get over something like a loss to suicide as it can bring with it so many difficult feelings. Times like anniversaries, birthdays and special dates can also be challenging. Given that your dad was violent to your mum too, I am sure you must have experienced many more tough emotions and questions over the last 26 years.
It’s hard to say if you will ever “get over it” Rebecca but you’ve already come a long way. A loss will always be there, in some shape or form and for many years afterwards, but the pain of the loss can subside. The positive thing is that so many people do go on to grow around their loss and adapt to such a big change in their life. They can become stronger and find new ways to live their life with the loss beside them, rather than behind them.
It’s important to know that you are not alone in your journey Rebecca and you might find it helpful to talk this through with someone. I wonder if you’ve found any support, service or person helpful in the past; there are many people available who can help you navigate how you’re feeling about the loss of your mum, especially when you’re feeling so low about things. You could check in with our Helpline (1800 201 890) available free of charge, 24/7 where you can talk to a counsellor who is specifically trained in the area of suicide bereavement. Through the Helpline you can also learn about counselling services or support groups at our Centres but most importantly you might find it a safe, comforting and welcoming space to take your questions and thoughts.
I hope this helps in even some small way Rebecca,