What are the most common reactions after a suicide?
It is extremely difficult to lose a loved one to suicide. If you have lost someone to suicide, the pain and confusion may seem overwhelming. Other common reactions to the suicide of a friend or relative are:
- Denial: At first, many people deny what happened. They cannot believe that somebody they believed they knew so well was unhappy enough to end their own life. Hence they try looking for other explanations for the death of the person (such as an accident, a murder, illness etc). They may also simply declare that the notice of his or her death is untrue. This is a normal part of grieving.
- Anger: You may feel a strong feeling of anger towards the person who committed suicide. Maybe you think: ‘How could he/she do this? He/she simply stole away all the times we could have had together and left me. This is so selfish of him/her!’ These thoughts are normal and standard to those who undergo such grief. You have the right to be angry about the choice he/she made to end his/her life, leaving you behind with the legacy of pain and hurt.
- Guilt: You may feel strong guilt, reflected in thoughts such as: ‘It was my fault. If only, I had noticed the signs. I should have seen and done something to help’. These are very common thoughts too.
- Feeling nothing at all: You maybe feel numb in some cases and have difficulty concentrating. This is a normal reaction to overwhelming grief and shock.
- It is quite common for people who have lost someone by suicide, to suffer from depression or even feel suicidal themselves.