I'm sorry, I'm chiming in her very late, but I don't come to this site as much as used to. My husband, Jim, took his own life 9 1/2 years ago, and the reason that I'm chiming in here, is because I had similar needs to see photos. My husband went to a wildlife preserve almost two hours away from home to take his life. He was concerned that our teenage son would find him, so he ensured that he could get the job done without out anyone being able to stop him and without our son finding him. Because of this, the people who found him were the Deputies of that county, who were alerted after we found his note and reached out to them. The next time I saw him, was in his casket, the deadly injury on his forehead had been completely repaired, which also meant the age and anxiety lines on his forehead were smoother, which made him look younger and much more relaxed than he had been for years. I was stuck in the anger mode, so totally pissed off that he did this, that I couldn't get past the anger part of my grief. He was at peace and my son and I were an emotional mess, which really, really pissed me off. At about the 2 1/2 year post suicide timeframe, I finally thought that if I could see photos and the death scene, that maybe it would help me move past it. I contacted the Sheriff of that county and explained the problem and he graciously told me that he wasn't supposed to show photos from a police file/report, but that if I drove out there, that he would meet with me and that he felt he could help me. When I got there, he and one of the Deputies who worked the scene and I met and talked for a little while, and then while the Deputy was hesitant to show me the photos, the Sheriff told him that it would be okay. I saw the photos. There wasn't this clearing of the skies and angels singing to clear things up in my head that I'd hoped for, but it actually helped me, with time. It helped put the rest of the pieces together. They weren't pleasant photos at all, and I didn't expect them to be, but they weren't as bad as I expected, either. It took time for me to process the photos psychologically, it wasn't an instant 'aha moment', but it helped with time. I don't even know how to explain exactly why it was helpful, other than like I already stated, that it helped to put the pieces together. I did finally get unstuck from the intense anger mode, but I still do get angry at him, and I think that's normal. The different stages of grief are something that we will go back and forth between for the rest of our lives. I do still get angry at him, like today, for instance. It's Easter, our son who is now grown, is going to his girlfriend's for Easter, leaving me here alone. It really pisses me off the most around the holidays. I spent so many years making holidays very nice for him and his family (including his extended family), and they abandoned us after he killed himself, so now that my son is grown, I'm left alone on holidays. I can handle it on a daily basis, but something about the holidays when everyone else I know is with family and having a wonderful day, I'm sitting alone. I guess what I'm trying to say is that seeing the photos may help, but the way we go from one stage of grief to the other, you may find yourself in the same stage again sometime, so don't be disappointed when that happens. It's something that we'll deal with for the rest of our lives, so one of the main things that I've learned is to just go with the flow, let myself feel what I need to and bounce back. Don't be too hard on yourself with any of your grief stages. Just be kind to yourself and allow yourself the time to work through the different stages, no matter how long it take or how many times you revolve through the different stages. Take care.
Husband, Jim, 7-30-2005, GSWH
Moving onward and upward.