Some thoughts on suicide support groups

I went to a SOS (survivors of suicide) group meeting and was struck by the attendance of people who had been going for 4 or more years.

Clearly the group is not helping them heal. Then I realized why. No one was even talking about the real problem, the unhealed wound. Guilt. Regrets. Guilt does not go away with the passage of time. Grief does, with a half-life of days to weeks, and reaches a minimum level, with occasional spikes.

One mother kept telling us she is the world’s best mother. Was she trying to convince herself that she was an adequate mother? Trying to relieve her guilt/regrets over her failures as a mother?

All of the participants were clearly suffering from guilt – and were not getting enough help from the group experience to actually heal their psyches. Sad. Typical though of mankind – we rarely even realize what the problem is. If we know what it is, we still don’t confront it head on.

Anyone who has not healed within 6 months of a suicide of a love one: Deal with your guilt/regrets actively! Don’t expect it to go away


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