Understanding Suicide Grief | How to Cope

Last Update on October 4, 2022 : Published on October 5, 2022

The suicide rate worldwide is increasing day by day. A piece of suicide news is covered by most news channels almost every week. These are the ones that are being reported, there are many suicide cases that don’t even get reported.

The one who commits suicide was obviously in some pain so brutal that they decided to end their life. They did what they felt was right but what about the people they left behind? What about their friends and family members?

How are they supposed to live with the fact that their loved one ended his/her life on purpose? It is very hard to imagine the pain a person feels when they learn about the suicide of a loved one. There are a million questions that cross their mind and hundreds of regrets about not being able to do anything for them.

This feeling that you get after knowing that someone you cared for and loved has committed suicide can be called suicide grief or suicide survivor grief. Anyone who was close to the person who died by suicide can experience suicide grief.

Let’s learn more about suicide grief and dealing with suicide grief…

Understanding Suicide Grief


When a loved one dies by suicide, it’s one of the most devastating news for you. You are damaged emotionally and you feel overwhelmed with all kinds of negative thoughts and feelings. Your emotions and feelings are heart-wrenching because you just can’t seem to fathom the demise of your loved one by suicide.

This feeling that you experience when a loved one commits suicide is popularly known as suicide grief or suicide survivor grief. Suicide grief is different from other forms of grief because in most cases you could not have saved the dead but in the case of death by suicide, you feel like you could have stopped this from happening.

There are a million other regrets and feelings that bother you when you lose a loved one to suicide. Most of the time, the quest to understand why they committed suicide begins to eat you from within.  Losing a loved one is never easy and losing someone to suicide is even more difficult because most people recognize signs of suicidal thoughts when it’s too late.

Understanding The Stages Of Suicide Grief


When a person is in grief they experience various stages of grief. There is denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance of the truth. Similarly, when you are dealing with the loss of a loved one by suicide, you go through some stages of suicide grief before you are able to gain a sense of acceptance.

Let’s have a look at the stages of suicide grief;

  1. Shock: this stage is similar to denial. You are shocked and in disbelief, you constantly tell people that it’s not possible for your loved one to commit suicide. You experience emotional numbness and are in complete shock.
  2. Anger: you might either be angry at yourself or your loved one. You can be angry at your loved one for abandoning you or you can be angry at yourself for not being able to see the warning signs of suicide.
  3. Guilt: in the third stage of suicide grief you might have strong feelings of guilt. You might constantly think about the “what if” & “If only” kinds of regrets. You feel guilty for not being able to do anything for them.
  4. Despair: all the negative and intrusive thoughts might begin to pull you towards feeling despair. You might feel lonely and helpless. At this stage, suicide contagion can also take place.
  5. Making sense: you feel confused as you try to make sense of it all. You try to find out why this happened to your loved one and you. You try to give meaning to this situation so that you can get closure.

Tips On Dealing With Suicide Grief


Suicide grief might hit slightly differently from other kinds of grief. However, ways to deal with suicide grief are not very different from the traditional healthy coping strategies for grief. Let’s give a quick look at some tips that can help you in dealing with suicide grief;

  • Keep in touch. with your friends, family, and loved ones. You do not have to suffer alone, try to be in contact with your trusted people so that you can share what’s going on in your mind.
  • Let yourself grieve. It’s important to grieve because it helps you process all your difficult emotions and feelings. Remember, there is no right or wrong while grieving, do what makes you feel better.
  • Prepare yourself for flashbacks and painful memories. It is not possible to erase someone completely from your life. There are going to be painful reminders so be prepared for them to come.
  • Do not expect a fast recovery. You are dealing with the loss of a loved one who has committed suicide, it’s going to take time to heal. Allow yourself to heal at your own pace. Don’t pressurize yourself to recover quickly.
  • Expect setbacks, there are going to be days when you will feel hopeless and devastated because you never wanted it to happen. When such days come, tell yourself to calm down because you can’t change what is not in your control, and focus on things that are in your control.
  • Join support groups, there are many people out there dealing with suicide grief who are willing to support other people experiencing similar pain. Reach out to support groups, share your story and learn from theirs.
  • If nothing seems to work for you, you feel like you are drowning in suicide grief then you must seek professional help. No one can help you better than a mental health professional.

You can book an appointment now to talk about your struggle with suicide grief with a mental health professional.

That’s All folks!

I hope you found this blog about suicide grief, stages of suicide grief, and tips on dealing with suicide grief informative, helpful, and thought-provoking. Dealing with suicide grief is not easy, get the help you need. Do share this blog with people you think need to read this.

Thanks for reading.

Take care and stay safe.

About The Author

Kirti Bhati
Kirti Bhati

I am an English literature (major) and psychology (minor) graduate from St. Bede’s College, Shimla. Postgraduate in Clinical psychology from IIS University, Jaipur. She has published a Research paper on Music therapy in the military population and Workplace stress in a national seminar conducted by Fortis hospital (gurugram) and international seminar conducted by St. Bede’s College, Shimla, Respectively. Authored a dissertation work on ‘effect of social media addiction on the mental and physical well-being in adolescents’ Currently working at calm sage as a writer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

As Seen On