Supporting the Bereaved in the Aftermath of a Suicide

Losing a loved one is never easy but losing a loved one to suicide can be particularly taxing. Not only do the surviving loved ones have to grapple with what is typically a sudden death, but they also find themselves overwhelmed with questions that will likely never be answered.

Those who are bereaved in the aftermath of a suicide need love and encouragement as much as anyone else does - but how do you offer this support for someone dealing with so harrowing a loss?

To a large extent, you offer your support to these mourners the same way you would any other. Be there for them. Listen to them as they unload their emotional burdens, or simply offer them companionship when they feel like they need it. Offer to help with daily tasks and chores that may be hard to deal with in the wake of a loss.

Also remember that there are innumerable reasons for suicide, and you will probably never know the real reason why the person in question chose this path. As such, it is imperative to avoid anything that might sound like a judgment or a diagnosis. Accept that there are questions that will never be fully resolved.

More than anything, just offer yourself to those in mourning; allow them to lean on you as needed, even if that means venting or musing aloud about their loss. You don't need to provide them with answers; what they need more than anything is your love and friendship.