The Impact of Social Isolation

It is never easy sharing our story of loss. Whether we face shame, stigma or judgment from others, the reality is people are not comfortable being around those who grieve. In the Latino culture, I don’t remember hearing my parents or my extended family members talk about death, dying or even cry in front of us. It was as if the subject of loss was taboo. I never saw my father cry when both his parents died nor when my sister died. I was impacted by his show of strength and his ability to move one so quickly. I learned a lot from my father and I did not realize how suppressing my feelings while I was demonstrating to the world that I was strong, would have long term effects later in my life. The death of my sister was devastating and it took me a long time to heal, but it was not until I had a personal experience with suicide, that I understood the challenges and barriers survivors of suicide loss experience.

Why do our families and friends create a distance from us? Why is it when we need the most, they want us to carry on as if nothing happened? How can I convince someone that I cannot handle this pain alone?

Judgments, blame and guilt play a role why we may keep a distance as well from others. What keeps you away or how have you felt when those you need the most have kept their distance from you?

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Published by Kindred Spirit Latino Center for Grief and Loss

I am a licensed clinical social worker and Texas State Board Approved Clinical Supervisor. I have 14 years of experience working with grief, loss and bereavement as well as providing educational workshops to professionals and the community. Working with survivors of suicide loss, an individual or family may lose support systems once in place. Research shows many survivors of suicide loss often experience social isolation. There is also research showing after 10 days of social isolation, an individual begins to experience symptoms of depression. I am a survivor of suicide loss and my own personal experience has led me to help increase awareness, knowledge and reduce the shame and stigma associated with suicide, mental heatlth and begin conversations in the Latino family unit.

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