Why grieving can be complex
Suicide prevention

Why grieving can be complex

Stigma and other factors can make it more challenging for survivors to navigate the grief of losing a loved one to suicide

Ranjitha Jeurkar

Unlike grief arising from other kinds of loss, the grief around suicide is complicated because it involves mixed feelings around the circumstances of the person’s death in addition to the feeling of immense loss.

The stigma around the act itself can make this grief much harder to understand and experience. In the Indian subcontinent, suicide is often in conflict with prevailing religious beliefs. And unlike cases of death by natural causes, a death by suicide may not elicit as much empathy or sympathy.

All of these factors can add to the survivor’s sense of loneliness and isolation.

If you’re a survivor, reach out to people you trust. Staying connected with friends and family can help you cope with the grief you are experiencing.

If you know someone who is a survivor to suicide loss, check in with them to ask how they’re doing.

This article is part of a series on understanding and coping with a loss to suicide. Read the other articles in this series:

1. Why suicide grief can be complex

2. What does grief look like?

3. Self-care in the immediate aftermath

4. On the need to understand why

5. Where should you seek help?

6. Grieving together with family and friends

7. Breaking the news to others

8. What to do with the note

This series has been compiled with inputs from Shweta Srinivasan, psychologist, The Mind Clan and suicide bereavement support group manager at Sisters Living Works and Nyana Sabharwal, co-founder of We Hear You, a suicide support bereavement group.

White Swan Foundation
www.whiteswanfoundation.org