Losing someone you care about can be one of the hardest things you can go through in life. No matter how or why someone dies, the loss leaves a hole in your heart that you feel can never be filled again. This being said, I believe that losing someone to suicide is one on the most painful experiences imaginable.
When someone commits suicide, it is most often a last resort when they feel that there is no hope for their life to get better or that they have no reason to live. As a friend or relative of a suicide victim, you often can’t help but feel that you are in some way to blame for the death. You believe that it’s your fault for not helping or not being supportive enough, even though this is usually not the case. In some cases, one persons suicide can trigger the suicides of friends or relatives who feel guilty about what happened.
Guilt, anger and other negative emotions that may result from a loss can lead to dangerous behaviors such as self-harm or violence. It is important in the wake of a suicide, or any loss, that friends/relatives talk about what happened and try to understand it. While this may be painful and difficult, it can be helpful to express and relieve feelings that can build and lead to harmful behaviors. Expressing feelings, especially of guilt, can be a vital step in coping with a loss. In children, where these feeling are more likely to occur, it may be best to seek professional help, such as a school counselor or physiatrist.
If you are depressed or having thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.