Chapter 5: When death is from suicide
When the suicide happened in the past
Michael was pretty angry that I didn't tell him the truth about his brother's suicide long ago. Fortunately, he seemed to understand I was doing the best I could, and that I thought I was protecting him by not telling him.
When parents or others don’t explain at the time that a death was from suicide, they sometimes decide to have that conversation further down the road. After this delay, they’re often unsure how to go about this. While professionals recommend being honest from the start, it’s never too late to revisit the cause of death. For example:
Remember how I told you that your cousin died in a car accident? At the time, I was very upset and wasn’t sure what to tell you. I’ve thought about this a lot, and I’d like to tell you more about how he died if you would like to have that conversation.