Bereaved by Suicide

Bereavement is a natural process experienced as the result of the death of a loved one.

When someone we love dies as the result of suicide the grieving process can be more complex and more difficult to manage. Feelings become intense and complicated by other factors and seemingly difficult to resolve.

Members of the family will all grieve in different ways and this could cause distress. It is important to keep communicating with each other and allow yourselves time and space to grieve.

At first, you may experience intense shock and disbelief.

Shock is a natural reaction to death. This may be more poignant if you were the person who found the body, or were close and had no idea that the person was suicidal. You may well feel numb, disorientated, and as if everything is unreal. This will pass but may last some time.

Following death by suicide of a loved one you may be struggling with feelings of:

  • anger
  • guilt
  • emptiness and despair
  • shame and isolation
  • disorientation
  • disbelief
  • depression
  • confusion
  • rejection


These feelings are normal and it can be helpful to share them with others.

At first you may find that you can only remember the difficulties and distress that the loved one suffered leading up to their death. You can take steps to help yourself by:

  • Talking about the person who has died and your relationship with them
  • Being good to yourself
  • Allowing yourself time to grieve
  • Remember the good times