Losing someone to suicide is a devastating experience, and trying to process your grief while also handling practical problems is more than many can handle. You have to talk to the coroner and law enforcement, make arrangements for the body and services, and inform family and friends of the loss. Then you have to plan and go through the final services.
The grief that comes with losing someone you love is often different when the loss resulted from suicide. There is often anger, shock, disbelief, and guilt associated with the grief. These additional feelings come out of not understanding why it happened, wondering if something could have changed the outcome, and wondering if something could have been done differently. Loved ones often blame themselves for not being there, not seeing the signs, or not doing something to prevent it.
Many may not think of the cleanup required following a suicide, particularly if there is blood or bodily fluids. As a friend or family member, you are probably ill-equipped to handle this task. Also referred to as biohazard remediation, this is the process of cleaning the suicide scene. It offers friends and family peace of mind knowing everything was taken care of professionally and with compassion.
Blood and other bodily fluids are considered a biohazard, which involves special removal and cleaning to reduce potential exposure damage. This may include the transmission of diseases that are spread through blood and bodily fluids. It also provides an environment where people can heal and grieve without the trauma of having to clean the space themselves. There are specialized equipment, products, and processes used to ensure it is completely cleaned up and no one is exposed to possible pathogens in the blood or other bodily fluids.
When you require suicide cleanup, you can call companies like Valor Technical Cleaning seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Due to the situation, they understand that they need to be available outside normal business hours. They provide the greatest care during interactions and show respect for those lost. They have compassion for the people they work for and consistently give care and consideration, which is critical during this difficult time.
Once contacted, they will go to the site and remove all traces of biological material. They use ATP tests, which measure cell activity to ensure the area is safe following the cleanup. They also disinfect and deodorize the area, so there is no sign of what happened. They ensure safety by adhering to all OSHA and EPA regulations for personal protective equipment (PPE).
When you return to the space, it will be spotless, safe, and livable. While nothing can take away the grief and pain of the personal loss, that pain does not need to be compounded by having to clean up the aftermath of the suicide or seeing visual reminders of what happened in that space. If the house is being sold or the apartment moved out, the cleaning will also ensure a smooth transition or sale. In the case of a rental, the landlord will have to arrange the cleanup services for the impacted area.
Visiting the place where the loss occurred may be an important part of the healing process for some individuals. Ensuring a complete suicide cleanup is conducted will prevent the visit from causing more harm. The loved ones of the deceased can focus on their own grieving process and work with each other and professionals to heal their pain from the traumatic event. There will be questions that may never be answered and closure that is impossible to achieve. Working with a grief counselor that specializes in suicide loss will help tremendously