Understanding Suicide Grief

Grieving a death by suicide can be difficult and upsetting. It is normal to feel overwhelmed by your thoughts and emotions. Understanding more about what you’re going through can be helpful in difficult times.

What is grief?

Grief is all the emotions and thoughts a person may experience in connection with the death of a loved one. It is a normal human reaction.

The emotions you may feel

Losing a loved one to suicide can cause all sorts of emotions, including:

  • Sadness
  • Anger
  • Guilt

Some people may even feel:

  • Calm
  • Relief

These emotions are normal and often come in waves, with different emotions sometimes occurring all in the same day. The feelings experienced, their intensity, and the pace at which they arise varies from person to person. There are as many ways to grieve as there are people grieving.

Specific characteristics of suicide grief

How long does grief last?

Grief has no fixed length

Some people’s reactions to a suicide will decrease after a few weeks or months. For others, the reactions may last longer.

How long does grief last

Painful emotions diminish over time

Although grief has no expiry date, it can be helpful to remember that painful emotions tend to diminish in intensity over time, but may resurface on important dates (date of death, birthdays, family celebrations).