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Looking for Someone to Blame Following a Loved One's Suicide

Category: 

Grieving Process

Posted On: Feb 20, 2017

Looking for Someone to Blame Following a Loved One's Suicide

Following the death of someone by suicide, those who are left behind often blame themselves. It's not just a common tendency, it's completely normal and totally understandable, as well. In the terrible aftermath, we wonder what we could have done differently, what we missed, how we could have done more to help. Hindsight, as they say, is 20/20, but even in hindsight, you don't always see what you missed or where you went wrong because there's likely nothing there. Again, it's natural to look for someone to blame. However, that doesn't bring closure.

First, Stop Blaming Yourself

This is not your fault. Unless you knowingly did something wrong or can pinpoint exactly what you did, then you are not to blame for your loved one's heartbreaking choice. Not everyone can absolve themselves, but you know the relationship you had with the deceased. You know what you felt for her or him. Did you love her or him unconditionally? Did you provide as much support as possible? Were you a positive presence in her or his life? Then please, stop blaming yourself.

Don't Resent Your Loved One's Loved Ones

Other people were close to the deceased. There are other survivors, all of whom are also suffering. It's tempting to point the finger at a partner, a parent, or a friend, but resist that urge. Think long and hard about what you're saying and what you're thinking. The odds are that the other people your loved one left behind feel exactly like you do. They're already beating up themselves and searching for answers. How would you feel if they blamed you in return?

Blame Won't Bring Back Your Loved One

Even if you can find a direct cause for your loved one's suicide, what good does it do? Will it bring your loved one back to life? Will it give you a few more moments or a chance to say goodbye? No. It is painful, heart-wrenching, and utterly ruinous, but people choose suicide for any number of reasons. Depression, illness, a broken heart—these are just a few possible reasons. When it comes down to it, as hard as it is to admit, your loved one made a choice. No one else made it for her or him.

Being touched by suicide changes you forever. Not only do you lose someone you love, but you live in fear, mired down by guilt and blame. It's extremely helpful to talk to someone, or a suicide grief group.