• Kasey R. Compton, LPCC

To Those Left Behind…Living with Loss After Suicide

Updated: Apr 19

Written by; Jessica Page, LMFT


If you use social media on a regular basis, you are probably aware that September was Suicide Prevention month. You have probably read or seen articles on how to help those struggling with suicidal thoughts, typical red flags or signs of depression, and local resources available. The statistics of suicide in the United States alone are sobering.


According to Suicide Voices Awareness and Education (S.A.V.E), there will be one death by suicide every 12 minutes. 



Bringing awareness and education to the topic of suicide is vital in removing the stigma of depression and promoting mental health.  However, this month can be very triggering for a lot of people as well. What about the ones who are left behind? Chances are, you have either been personally affected by losing a loved one from suicide or know of someone who has. 


As a counselor, I have walked with many individuals who have experienced this type of complicated grief. I believe it is very important to also take a moment to encourage those who often suffer in silence as survivors of suicide.


Here are a few things I would like you to know: 


1. You are NOT alone

It is unfortunate, but so many people can personally empathize with your story. Please seek out support from either a counselor, a support group, or individuals who can understand your thoughts and feelings. Losing someone to suicide is not a typical grief experience. It is untimely, complicated, and comes with feelings that only those who have a similar experience can relate to. However, there are people who have walked through every difficult moment and have came out on the other side. There is hope in moving through the grief and finding purpose in your pain!  


2. It is NOT your fault

Statistically, most individuals who end their life have sought out varying support or counseling at some point. However, counselors and loved ones are simply not able to be with them 24/7 and it is often very difficult to get someone hospitalized against their will. Loved ones are not able to prevent every post traumatic trigger or remove every dangerous object or weapon from their surroundings. In some situations, individuals become very good at hiding their pain and spend most of their energy appearing “normal” so no one will know their thoughts or feelings. It also takes many shapes and forms, which can often be very difficult to target; even to those who are with them the most.


3. It is NOT because they felt unloved

In most cases, individuals do not end their life because they believe they are unloved. Most recognize that they are loved and wanted, however, they have developed an irrational belief that their loved ones will be better off without them.  Depression is a condition that lies and convinces individuals that they will not get better and that they are a burden to all those around them. Depression is an illness and untreated it can become very consuming! 


4. It is NOT because they wanted to die

Statistically, most individuals who end their life have sought out varying support or counseling at some point. However, counselors and loved ones are simply not able to be with them 24/7 and it is often very difficult to get someone hospitalized against their will. Loved ones are not able to prevent every post-traumatic trigger or remove every dangerous object or weapon from their surroundings. In some situations, individuals become very good at hiding their pain and spend most of their energy appearing “normal” so no one will know their thoughts or feelings. It also takes many shapes and forms, which can often be very difficult to target; even to those who are with them the most.


If you have personally lost someone you love to suicide, please do not continue to submit to feelings of guilt and shame. Please rest in knowing that you aren’t alone, and it is not your fault! Just because your loved one died from suicide does not mean that their life is not worth celebrating or to be talked about. The cost of love is great! Suicide does not have to get the last word, and that is the one thing you can control!

If you would like to seek out an online support group for suicide survivors, here are a couple of resources available.

Learn more about Jessica Page, LMFT

7 views
  • Grey Facebook Icon
  • Grey Instagram Icon

Mindsight Behavioral Group