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Coming to Terms with Suicide

When someone close to you dies, it’s difficult to let go. If the death was unexpected-the result of an accident, for example-it’s even harder to accept. When your loved one chooses to end his or her own life, accepting the death can seem impossible.

If someone you loved or knew well recently committed suicide, the normal symptoms of grief may be heightened. Shock and denial are common emotions experienced by friends and family of a suicide victim. Often this manifests into insisting that the death was an accident, despite all evidence to the contrary.

You may even become angry, feeling that someone should have seen warning signs and prevented the suicide. Or perhaps you’re angry with your loved one for killing himself or herself and causing you such sorrow. If your loved one’s emotional turmoil had made him or her difficult to handle, you may be struggling with guilt over the relief of not having to deal with that stress any more. All of these are normal reactions, especially for parents and spouses.

Using the word “suicide” is an important step in coming to terms with your loss. If you find that your grief is too intense to handle on your own, self-help groups, such as a local chapter of Ray of Hope Inc., can provide the support you need to work through your feelings. By accepting the truth, you can begin the healing process after such a tragic loss.

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