Chapter 5: When death is from suicide


The truth about a death from suicide is sometimes kept secret. Parents do this with the best of intentions – a desire to protect their children. As with other kinds of death, however, it’s important to talk honestly about suicide. This is true with even the youngest children. 

This chapter includes how and what to tell your children. It looks at answering the question: Why?, ways to lessen the children's common worries, and the special care they might need. If the suicide happened some time ago, suggestions are given for revisiting the discussion about the person's death. 

A note on language 

Now, suicide is spoken of as death from suicide or died by suicide. The phrase, committed suicide, can be distressing for families as it has criminal overtones left over from when suicide was considered a criminal act. This is no longer the case in most parts of the world. uses died from suicide.