When someone dies by suicide your whole world is turned upside down.
Everyone grieves differently and there is no correct response to how you will cope following a suicide. You may feel low and unable to cope. You might find it very difficult to sleep, eat or feel motivated to do anything. You may even have suicidal thoughts yourself. If you do, it important that you speak to someone about it.
Shock and disbelief are often the immediate responses to suicide. The emotions that you experience can be powerful, frightening and overwhelming. You may feel that the person’s death has come out of the blue with no warning. Even in cases where someone has previously told you that they were feeling depressed, or had made suicide attempts before, their death may still come as a shock. In other cases, people may feel that they had ‘seen it coming’ but been powerless to prevent it. You might have had a loved one go missing and known in your heart that they would not be coming back. The manner of death may be particularly hard for you to accept. Whatever the circumstances, finding out about a suicide is a deeply painful experience.
After a suicide
This booklet will help you with the practical issues that need to be faced after a suicide. It also discusses some of the emotions you might be experiencing and suggests some places where you can get help.
Sophie Reilly, aged 21 died by suicide in 2016. Her struggle to make sense of her mental illness was left in a series of writings, in prose, drama and poetry, which is available as a short volume entitled ‘Tigerish Waters’.
Sophie’s brother, Samuel has edited her volume ‘Tigerish Waters’, in order both to help other families coping with a family member who has mental health problems, and also to gain recognition of Sophie’s emerging literary talent. Thank you to Sophie’s family, who are raising money for SAMH through the sale of the book. This generosity will help us to raise awareness and most importantly be there for people when they need us.