Losing anyone is difficult to process but to lose someone to death by suicide is especially hard. Where do you start to process it? The shock and disbelief coupled with maybe having to deal with a police enquiry and/or potentially an inquest into the circumstances of the death. Is it even possible to start to grieve?


It can feel like a very lonely and isolating place to be when you lose someone to suicide. Even just saying the word can feel tough, and you may find people don't know how to act around you so that can make you feel more alone. 


As well as triggering deep painful grief and loss you could also experience feelings of guilt, shame, anger and the impact of stigma. You could also experience trauma as a consequence of the manner of the death or circumstances they are found in. You could find yourself experiencing survivors' guilt or blaming yourself believing that you could have or should have done more to prevent the death.  


Many cultures and religions still view suicide as a taboo or in a negative light, which could lead to those who are grieving the loss feeling like they cannot talk about the loss or openly mourn their loved one. 


Whatever the circumstances, self blame, feelings of isolation and despair are common responses. There is no right or wrong way to grief and it may be some time before you feel able to begin to do so, given that you are likely having to process the shock, deal with the practicalities and all the unanswered questions you may be left asking. 


There is support available and in the first instance you may wish to ask your local GP to signpost you or do some research for the various charities that support those impacted by suicide. You may find it helpful to find a support group that specialises in bereavement through suicide to ensure you meet with those who understand and have that lived experience. 


Talking can really help you come to terms with death by suicide and the many different, conflicting and sometimes frightening emotions that you can experience. If this resonates with you and you feel that you would benefit from professional counselling please do get in touch.