Survivors often wonder how bereavement after suicide compares to bereavement after other kinds of death.
Special themes of suicide bereavement manifest themselves in three broad areas of grief response.
First, numerous studies have found that survivors seem to struggle more with questions of meaning-making around the death (“Why did they do it?”)… survivors often struggle to make sense of the motives and frame of mind of the deceased.
Second, survivors show higher levels of feelings of guilt, blame, and responsibility for the death than other mourners (“Why didn’t I prevent it?”)… Occasionally, survivors feel that they directly caused the death through mistreatment or abandonment of the deceased. More frequently, they blame themselves for not anticipating and preventing the actual act of suicide…
Third, several studies indicate that survivors experience heightened feelings of rejection or abandonment by the loved one, along with anger toward the deceased (“How could they do this to me?”).”