How to Appropriately Memorialize a Loved One Who Died by Suicide
Losing a loved one to suicide is one of the most difficult experiences a person can face. Sharing the news of their passing with family, friends, and colleagues only makes the situation harder. Social media is ideal for announcing the news of their passing and sharing memories of your loved one with a large network of friends and family. At Let Your Love Grow, we know that social media can also be a source of comfort and support during the grieving process. Friends and family can share their own memories and offer words of encouragement through online comments and messages.
When memorializing a loved one who died by suicide, it is important to be mindful of the sensitive nature of the situation and follow proper etiquette. In this article, you’ll find a step-by-step guide for properly and respectfully honoring the memory of your loved one on social media. We’ll also discuss practical ways to navigate loss and come to terms with the passing of a beloved family member.
Acknowledging Your Own Needs
Losing a loved one to suicide can trigger intense and overwhelming grief. Take care of yourself first and foremost. This might involve seeking support from loved ones, talking to a professional therapist, or taking some time off work. If you find yourself feeling particularly stressed, take a moment to breathe. Take your time when making decisions and try to keep your priorities in mind. Practicing self-care in this way can also help you prepare for any negative reactions you may encounter when sharing the news about your loved one’s suicide.
Tending to Your Loved One’s Assets
After losing a loved one, it’s important to tend to their assets and handle their affairs in a responsible and respectful manner. This can include tasks such as closing bank accounts and transferring ownership of property. If your loved one’s will does not specify who should inherit their property, the courts will oversee the sale of the home in a probate sale. This process can be long and complex, so be sure to hire a seasoned probate real estate agent for guidance.
You’ll also need to tend to your loved one’s digital assets, such as social media accounts. End With Care explains that you may need to close or memorialize the accounts to ensure privacy and prevent unwanted access to personal information. Follow the guidelines set by each social media platform to ensure the process is carried out properly and with respect for the memory of your loved one.
Sharing the News on Social Media
When you’re ready to memorialize your loved one online and share the news of their passing with your social network, take it one step at a time. These steps will ensure your announcement is respectful and appropriate:
- Consult with family and close friends of the deceased to discuss their wishes and preferences regarding the news of the death.
- Choose which social media platform and account you will use to share the news. Some families prefer to use a personal account while others create a memorial page dedicated to their loved one.
- Draft a statement that is clear, concise, and respectful. This statement may include basic information about the death, such as the date and location, and any details that the family and close friends wish to share.
- Before posting any information, obtain consent from the family and close friends of the deceased.
- Keep the tone appropriate and respectful. Avoid posting graphic content, glorifying suicide, or making statements that could be perceived as insensitive or harmful.
- Offer support to those who may be affected by the loss. This could include sharing resources for coping with grief, offering condolences, or simply being available to listen to those who need to talk.
Honoring Your Loved One
If you’re looking for a special way to honor the departed, consider setting up a nonprofit in their name. You could also have a plaque made that includes their name and a short quote, and hang it in their memory at one of their favorite locations. This is a good way to memorialize your loved one and give other mourners something to focus on. There’s a special site that can help you get started; check it out for more info.
Navigating the loss of a loved one is difficult, to say the least. From managing your loved one’s assets to preparing a respectful social media announcement, this difficult time is bound to be stressful. Just remember to breathe and take each day one step at a time.
Let Your Love Grow allows you to use the ashes of the departed in a garden mixture, giving birth to new life. Call 314.787.5557.
Meet the Author
Sara Bailey (www.thewidow.net)