The ‘why’ behind suicide

The question that stalks those of us who’ve lost a loved one to suicide is, “Why did he kill himself?”

After they die, we go through their rooms, computers, social media messages, phones looking for answers looking for why our loved one took their life. We talk to their friends who are often equally as stunned. Our investigations turn up more questions. More anguish and helplessness.

There’s often anger at the deceased for killing themselves. How could they do that? Didn’t they know how much it would hurt those of us left behind?

Some of us find art, writing, journals, lyrics, videos, recordings, that over time we piece together and get some answers.

While there are often mysteries related to all kinds of deaths, suicide feels more personal. We feel as if we weren’t good enough, astute enough, supportive enough. We should have done more, listened more, or maybe dismissed a threat we didn’t take seriously.

To some of us, we just can’t fathom that life would be so bad they’d end theirs. Their death feels like a betrayal to our love. As if we weren’t worthy enough to inspire them to stick around. Or didn’t trust us enough to let us know how much they hurt. Why didn’t they tell us?

To us it makes no sense. None of this does.

Which is why we need to understand those who suffer thoughts of suicide. Education is where we can find some answers. Support from others is where we find healing. But we will never know all of the answers and we have to accept that.

Published by

Anne Moss Rogers

I am an emotionally naked TEDx speaker, and author of the Book, Diary of a Broken Mind. I raised two boys, Richard and Charles, and lost my youngest son, Charles to substance use disorder and suicide June 5, 2015. I help people foster a culture of connection to prevent suicide, reduce substance misuse and find life after loss. My motivational, training and workshop topics include suicide prevention, addiction, mental illness, and grief. As talented and funny as Charles was, letting other people know they matter was his greatest gift. And now the legacy I try and carry forward in my son's memory. Professional Speaker Website. Trained in ASIST and trainer for the evidence-based 4-hour training for everyone called safeTALK.

2 thoughts on “The ‘why’ behind suicide”

  1. I think support from others is key. Being able to talk about it and not hush hush things is a big part of that too. I’m curious to know more about how you came to answer the “why” part – how did you come to terms with it?

    1. I agree. Connection is the antidote for suicide. The songs helped me understand the why behind my son’s suicide and addiction. And writing here and the book, where I lay it all out helped tremendously

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