Reclaiming and Reshaping Life: Patterns of Reconstruction After the Suicide of a Loved One

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Abstract

The objective of this study is to identify patterns (components and processes) of reconstruction of suicide survivors. In-depth interviews were conducted with 50 survivors of suicide in Switzerland. Data were analyzed using ATLAS.ti and according to the Grounded Theory principles. Survivors of suicide face four major challenges: dealing with the impact of suicide, searching for meaning, clarifying responsibility, and finding a personal style of reaction and coping. The various ways in which survivors fare through the specific processes of the challenges result in various patterns of reconstruction: the vulnerability, transformation, commitment, and hard blow. The unique characteristics and dynamics of each of them are highlighted. Health care providers would benefit from an approach based on the dynamics of the various patterns of reconstruction in providing appropriate support to survivors of suicide.

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