Talking To Others About The Suicide


You may want to talk to others about the suicide but don’t know how they will react! What do you tell them?


In getting the support of others you will need to decide who and what to tell of the suicide.  How you view suicide yourself will affect what you say and who you tell. You may be afraid that others will judge you harshly. Society still attaches a stigma to suicide as it is largely not understood. A survivor may encounter blame, judgment or exclusion as a result.


You may feel shame, guilt or responsibility for the death – for what you did or did not do for the person who has died.  You may feel anger at the dead person and guilt about this.  However it is important to realise these are natural reactions.  Many emotions will be felt at different times.  This is a normal response to loss and is part of the grieving process.

Some will want to convince the survivors that it was not suicide.  Others will want to avoid talking about the person, as if they had not existed, or to “jolly” them out of their grief.  This is perhaps to do with their own discomfort with witnessing distress or avoidance of their own disturbing feelings associated with the loss.


It may help if you mentally prepare a few answers for questions people may ask. For example, if someone is probing you for details of the suicide and you are not feeling up to discussing them, you might simply say “I don’t really want to talk about it right now, can we talk about something else?” When someone you meet asks “How did he/she die?” a simple response may be “He/she took his/her own life”.

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