How To Manage the Minutes and Hours After a Veteran Suicide
Postvention is what called after veteran suicide prevention fails. This failure is usually discovered by a family member. Natural reactions such as shock and the fight or flight response kick in. Once the initial shock simmers, other less natural reactions take over. The urge to call the police, the EMTs and then a funeral home. But what is really happening in those calls will set the course for the rest of the burial process. And they may not be in your best interest. This checklist for what to do after a veteran suicide is one of our most effective tools in limiting the scars of a veteran suicide. See why we’ve chosen this as our mission.
Coroner or Medical Examiner – make sure you tell them that your loved one was a Veteran. The VA Report on Military Suicides needs better information next time they update it. This will help.
Did they have a PTSD or depression diagnosis? Request that they put that on the death certificate.
Don’t Rush to a Funeral Home – Coroners or Medical Examiners will hold the body for up to 2 months. Once you pick a funeral home and whether to cremate or not, you’re locked into their service or pay a large transfer fee. We have experience in negotiation on your behalf.
Funeral Homes – Not a good fit for families we talk to. Professional but expensive. They’re also cash and carry – some won’t let you see your loved one until their bill is paid-in-full.
Life Insurance Payouts – Most funeral homes will offer to act as a holding/transfer agent for you with the insurance company. They will subtract their fees for your service out of yourmoney. Ask if they charge for that. Don’t like their answer? Contact your agent directly. Their response times can vary significantly.
Biohazard Clean Up – Homeowners insurance may be able to pay or repay the biohazard clean up costs. Landlords or management companies may also have this insurance.
Funeral Homes – Can be helpful, but they are in business to make as much money as possible no matter the circumstances. They should be able to connect with a crematorium if they don’t have one on-site or locally. Many don’t offer that service on-site
Direct Cremations – “A direct cremation all included” is exactly what you should ask for. It is the most affordable service with ashes delivered in one or more urns. Urns start at $75.
Other Financial Resources
County Social Services – Every county in America has a social services office. Call them. They often can help with reasonable funerals, psychadelic.
Local Military Nonprofits – Start with the branch related to your Veteran served.
Local Faith-Based Outreach Groups
They grant modest financial aid like us, and they focus on children’s needs, so reaching out to them if you have kids may turn out good. Check out their website and you want to talk to Tom Deierlein – Co-Founder.
Military Aid Society offers grants and loans interest free to retired Veterans. There are two main MASs.
Army Emergency Relief (AER)
7117 Baltzell Ave. Bldg. 7
Ft. Benning, GA
Contact: Lionel Grant – Military Aid Society
Navy and Marines
There is an equivalent and that information is coming soon.
Go Fund Me – Consider starting a Go Fund Me page. Other families have had success here. Hit or miss but definitely worth the time invested.
Your emotional healing may never be complete, but on our site we offer free and drug-free ways to clear your mind and find some peace. Here are some links below to get you started and feel free to roam our blog and the rest of our site for anything that may help.
David Lynch Foundation Resilient Warrior Program for learning Transcendental Meditation. 4 in-person lesson. They are currently revising this program during the pandemic.
TAPS.ORG – they are the largest in the nation and it may take a while to hear back from them.
The WATCH Program at 22 Kill – this is a newer program that is similar to Taps’ networking opportunities.
Please feel free to stay in touch in any way that makes you feel better.
May you find the peace you deserve.