Suicide is devastating and the effects of suicide on family members and loved ones of the person who has died by suicide can be severe and far-reaching. Those left behind by suicide are often known as suicide survivors and while this is a very difficult position in which to find oneself, it is possible to heal and move forward. Some can literally take years to heal, and yes it does leave a scar, a reminder forever...
Learning that a loved one has died by suicide can absolutely be traumatic. In addition to all the feelings that anyone would feel about the death of a loved one, when the death is a suicide, there are additional feelings like:
Extreme guilt for not preventing the suicide
Failure because a person they loved felt unloved and completed suicide
Anger or resentment at the person who chose to take his or her own life
Confusion especially with the WHY??
Distress over unresolved issues (many of which often exist in families where one person has a mental illness, which is common in people who die by suicide
Unfortunately, friends and family of those who have completed suicide experience impacts on their own mental health. In Anxiety and divorce are very common effects on parents after a child's SUICIDE. A spouse has to learn to handle things alone questions unanswered for themselves have to be answered to kids family and friends
Children of parents who completed suicide are at a significantly increased risk of completing suicide themselves. The younger the child at the time of the parent's suicide, the greater the risk of his or her own suicide.
When a person dies, societally, others generally offer empathy and compassion, but when a person dies by suicide, there is a stigma around that death and people often treat the loved ones of the person who committed suicide differently. Loved ones can be very afraid to talk about the suicide for fear of judgment and condemnation – being blamed for the suicide of their family member or friend. Because of this, one effect of suicide on family and friends can be extreme isolation.
While losing a loved one to suicide can have very detrimental effects on your life and health, you can deal with this extremely difficult situation by getting suicide survivor support. This support is available online and often in person. Suicide support for families and friends works because it connects you with others who knows how you feel. What you are going through...
And always remember you aren't alone...