Life after suicide
life after suicide

What's life like after suicide? Beliefs about what happens to you after death may vary. But there's no doubt about the impact on the lives of others you've cared about, and who cared about you. Suicide is forever - that's certainly true for all the loved ones left behind, the siblings and parents, the friends and relatives, who are devastated by the loss.

Any death is painful. But death by suicide is different. It shipwrecks those it leaves behind. Besides grief, the "survivors" - the family and friends of a person who completes suicide - face waves of overwhelming emotions. These may include:

  • Shock.  Even if someone has been talking about suicide, that death can still be seen as sudden and traumatic. Disbelief and numbness are often felt. 
  • Minds. People replay "what if" and "if only" scenarios in their mind, blaming themselves for the death. What could they have done to prevent it? They could also be consumed by mind, with the feeling that their actions or words may have even contributed to the suicide.
  • Confusion. People may not understand why their loved one died this way. Some individuals who take their own life don't offer any signs that they're considering suicide, so survivors may find it hard to reconcile the person they knew with the actions they took. The big question – “Why?”
  • Anger. People can direct anger at themselves, at others who missed clues about suicidal intentions or which might have prevented the death, and at the person who completed suicide – they abandoned you, and left you with all these feelings and questions.
  • Isolation.  Suicide is often perceived as taboo by many cultures and religions.  These attitudes can lead to feelings of shame and fear. And cause survivors to feel alone in their mourning. Survivors may experience avoidance by some family, friends and acquaintances and/or people behaving as if the death hasn’t occurred. 
  • Despair. Sadness, depression and a sense of defeat or hopelessness can grip survivors. They may suffer through repeated nightmares and flashbacks of the suicide, and avoid people and places that remind them of the suicide. Some survivors lose interest in activities they once enjoyed, and grow wary of caring. Some may even consider suicide themselves

People who have lost someone by suicide, especially family members, are eight times more likely to die by suicide themselves.

Anyone who ends their own life can create a lifetime of pain and regret for others. Suicide leaves a void in their hearts. You will be missed.