A Complex Grief

The movie THE WATER DIVINER also sheds light on suicide grief. When the farmer, played by Russell Crowe, dragged his wife from the dam and cradled her in his arms I recognised the look of total desolation.

It has been said that suicide grief is often complex and traumatic. The physical, emotional and psychological implications can be overwhelming. Following the death of a loved one to suicide there is often a bewildering clash of emotions including feelings of sadness, anger, guilt, disbelief, helplessness, fear, rejection and abandonment.

Suicide grief compels us to find ways to honour the deceased in order to exorcise the stigma of suicide and to declare to the world that despite the tragic end this wasn’t a wasted life.

For the Water Diviner it was about ensuring his wife was buried in consecrated ground. The church had for many centuries regarded suicide as a mortal sin and was largely unsympathetic and unforgiving.

It was also about being true to his word by fulfilling his promise to his beloved and finding their sons. The journey to Turkey allowed him time to process his layered grief and to resolve some of the inner tensions.

Author: Bruce Rickard

Reflections on Suicide and Staying Alive: My son's suicide changed everything. I felt an obligation to understand why anyone would want to end their life. My regular blog posts explore the causes and prevalence of suicide and what is needed to sustain a healthy mind and a hope-filled future.

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