Alexis Pilkington 
Memorial Foundation

Why Did This Happen?

Many survivors struggle to understand the reasons for the suicide, asking themselves over and over again: "Why?" Many replay their loved ones' last days, searching for clues, particularly if they didn't see any signs that suicide was imminent.

Because suicide is often poorly understood, some survivors feel unfairly victimized by stigma. They may feel the suicide is somehow shameful, or that they or their family are somehow to blame them for this tragedy.

But you should know that 90 percent of all people who die by suicide have a diagnosable psychiatric disorder at the time of their death (most often depression or bipolar disorder). Just as people can die of heart disease or cancer, people can die as a consequence of mental illness. Try to bear in mind that suicide is almost always complicated, resulting from a combination of painful suffering, desperate hopelessness and underlying psychiatric illness.

(Excerpted from Surviving Suicide Loss: A Resource and Healing Guide)

(Thank you to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention for the information, facts & figures about suicide).