What to say to someone who has lost someone to suicide?

Author: Premium Urns  Date Posted:28 March 2023 

Losing someone to suicide is a deeply painful and complex experience, and it can be difficult to know what to say to someone who is grieving. The worst thing you can do is to say nothing and pretend it did not happen. Speaking about the death and the person who died is so deeply meaningful to the family. Many people are too scared to say anything at all, as they do not know what to say. Saying the name of the person who died to the family when expressing condolences recognises the life of the person who died and provides meaning to the family in ways we may never understand. It seems like a small thing to do but it is significant as it is sadly common that the grieving family may not have a single person who is strong enough to speak their loved ones' name. 

Here are a few things you can say to offer comfort and support:

  1. "I'm so sorry for your loss." - Offer your condolences and express your sympathy.

  2. "I can't imagine what you're going through, but I'm here to support you." - Acknowledge that their grief may be different from other types of loss, and let them know that you're there for them.

  3. "You're not alone." - Remind them that they have a support system, and offer to help connect them with resources if needed.

  4. "It's okay to feel a range of emotions." - Let them know that it's normal to feel a range of emotions, including anger, guilt, and sadness.

  5. "Your loved one was important and their life mattered." - Offer reassurance that their loved one was valued and will be remembered.

  6. "Please let me know if there's anything I can do to help." - Offer practical support, such as running errands or checking in on them.

It's important to remember that there's no right or wrong thing to say in this situation. Simply expressing your sympathy and being there to support them can make a big difference in their healing process. If they need additional support, consider encouraging them to seek help from a therapist or support group.

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