Suicide Survivor Guilt- How Do You Cope With It?


The pain of losing a loved one is difficult to handle. It is even more difficult if it is due to suicide. Various other factors influence grief, and coping with it becomes more challenging.

It is natural to feel the absence of a person after their demise. You can feel grief and experience denial, anger and depression. The bereavement process that an people pass through is unique to every unique individual. 

Who Is a Survivor?

Those who lose someone close to them due to suicide are suicide survivors.

According to the World Health Organisation’s global suicide estimates, around 700,000 people die due to suicide every year, which led to the need of suicide scene cleanup services. Each of these losses impacts an average of 135 people who feel the emotional turmoil.

The Common Emotions

Under any circumstances, suicide is a shock. Experts suggest that people with suicidal thoughts appearing happy on the outside have what’s known as a smiling depression.

Suicide triggers two sets of emotions. The first one is a shock from the sudden demise of a loved one. The second is learning about the mindset and insights of your loved one that you may not have been aware of before.

Suicide survivors face a differing bereavement process due to the revelations that suicide can cause. Data suggest that the chance of attempting suicide among the survivors increases the profound grief that comes with blame, shame, and guilt.


You start questioning your interactions with the person you lost to suicide. You spend time wondering whether there were any missed signs or if you influenced their thinking.

You may also feel or experience survival guilt. It is a fairly common feeling where you start thinking that the loved one you lost should have had a longer lifespan than you.


There can be multiple layers of shame for suicide survivors. According to research data, survivors will often conceal the death. Additionally, social stigma can lead to cultural isolation in the community where you live. 

You may face a clash between your feelings for the person you lost and cultural expectations. It leads to personal beliefs weighing heavily on you.


Research suggests that self-blame is a common phenomenon among those who experience suicidal loss. It is comparatively higher than for an individuals experiencing a loss due of a loved one due to natural causes.

It stems from the feeling that the suicide was preventable, had you only done a bit more.

Other Emotions

Many theories suggest that the emotions you go through after a suicidal loss are unique to everyone. The factors that can influence the grief you have after a suicide are your:

  • Cultural beliefs,
  • Relationship with the person,
  • Environment, and
  • Support system.

Fear, denial, and anger can mix with shame. You can also experience abandonment, isolation, or regretas you grieve. 

What you are experiencing is not wrong. However, if these feelings do not ease over time, they can disrupt your life. You can experience prolonged grief leading to a grief disorder. 

How to Cope With It?

No one can define a time frame concerning grief. When and what you feel are personal to you and no one else. There are various ways you can cope with this challenging time.

Many people often complain about seeing their deceased loved ones in their dreams. It becomes difficult for such people to handle these dreams, along with the mounting grief. Dream analysis with the help of a psychic can be beneficial in such a scenario. You can take a look at Purple Garden reviews while shortlisting a professional psychic to help you.

You can also try other prevalent means to help:

  • Consulting a mental health professional
  • Writing a journal about your feelings
  • Joining a suicide grief support network
  • Looking for places that help pursue relaxing activities like meditating, yoga, gardening, or hiking
  • Pursuing art and creativity to put out emotional expression
  • Working as a mentor and helping others by being a suicide survivor
  • Attending workshops and seminars by the various suicide prevention foundations
  • Paying more attention to your self-care needs such as sleep habits and hygiene
  • Taking your own time to discuss your feeling regarding suicide and what is going on with you, don’t let anyone pressure you
  • Finding out where you can get help

In conclusion, losing a loved one can be an emotionally disturbing experience. In addition, the feelings of grief, shame, guilt, or blame can be overwhelming at times. Please remember, if you are a suicide survivor, these are natural. You are not alone in this.