The act of taking ones own life can occur for many reasons, it’s nearly impossible to say why each person commits suicide, or the events leading up to it. Just like every person is different- each suicide death is as well.
But something they can have in common is found in the people left behind.
Those left behind could be anyone — a friend, a sibling, a parent, a child, a significant other, a doctor, a co-worker, the list can go on and on. Everyone will be touched differently from this loss. They will grieve. I repeat, they will grieve.
BUT grieving for suicide can be very different than any other death experience. Suicide leaves unanswered questions, not only about the deceased but also about the survivor and the relationship they had.
The question I want to touch on specifically is one that has echoed through my own mind after losing my mom to suicide at 18.
Could I have stopped her from committing suicide?
One common theme I have seen recently in suicide prevention is the empowerment of individuals, telling them that they can help someone that is in crisis- and stop them from committing suicide.(Which is true, but only to an extent.)
My question is — what happens when the person is successful in ending their life?
The person left behind, with the idea that they could have helped stop this suicide, what happens to them?
I don’t have any answers. I only have the beginning of questions that weigh heavily on me, and maybe on others.