Impact of Loss by Suicide

When someone you know and love dies by suicide, the journey through grief can be long and painful.

Death is a fact of life and touches all of us at some point. However, with suicide, the grief that a loved ones face is very painful because unique feelings are combined with feelings of shock and trauma.

The unique feelings that result from a loved one’s death by suicide are complicated by unanswered questions.  People will want to know “why” the suicide occurred and the “what ifs”.

Suicide is also not well understood in our society. Suicide  can  rip  families  apart  because  instead  of  receiving  love  and support,  loved ones may actually face blame, judgment  or silence and exclusion.

If someone you know dies by suicide, you may experience some or all of the following feelings

  • Shock & Disbelief
  • Anger & Hopelessness
  • Abandonment
  • Depression and Sadness
  • Intense Pain
  • Loneliness
  • Guilt
  • Shame and Blame

These feelings are not unusual. 

The following are ways to cope with your suicide grief

  • Acknowledge that the death is a suicide and speak about your loved one
  • Acknowledge your feelings and your loss
  • Learn more about suicide and grief
  • Remember that you are not responsible for your loved one’s death by suicide
  • Don’t be afraid to talk to someone you trust
  • Avoid people who want to tell you how to feel
  • Don’t’ be afraid to ask for help
  • Seek a support group

The term “survivor of suicide” is commonly used to describe some who has lost a loved one to suicide.  The word “survivor” describes the painful journey of surviving the grief that follows.  A survivor can be anyone – a parent, child, partner, aunt, uncle, sibling, friend, neighbor and colleague. 

Some people prefer the term “suicide griever” fearing that the term “survivor” will be confused with someone who has “attempted” suicide.  There are no rules and you can use whatever term you wish.  

Local Grief Supports

Provides peer support groups for children, teens and adults in Halton.
(905) 337-2333
Provides support to individuals grieving a suicide loss.
(905) 599-4673
A comprehensive counselling agency that helps people who are struggling with individual and family issues.
Oakville: (905) 845-3811
Burlington: Phone: (905) 637-5256
Milton: Phone: (905) 845-3811
Individual and group support for those who have lost loved ones.
(905) 848-4337
Counselling and support services
(905) 693-4270 or 1-877-693-4270
Provides mental health services to children and families.
Oakville: 905-339-3525
Burlington: (905) 634-2347
Milton: (905) 875-2575
Provides telephone and on line crisis support to help people cope with crisis, loneliness and emotional distress.
905-849-4541 - Oakville
905-681-1488 - Burlington 
905-877-1211 - Halton Hills
Provides bereavement support.
905-827-8800 or 1-800-387-7127


Supports people experiencing a mental health crisis.

Your School

All schools in Halton have support people you can talk to.

Your Church or religious group

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