The Impact of Suicide on Someone With Depression

Someone I knew killed himself.

Perhaps it shouldn’t have shocked me. Suicide is the second most common cause of death in young people. Statistically speaking, it isn’t shocking at all. But I was shocked. I suppose I’ve been fortunate to not experience this before. I’ll chalk up some of my surprise to youthful naivety and inexperience — a reminder that even though I feel so very old, I am so very young. He was very young, too.

I look at the situation from the eyes of a person with depression who has been suicidal. I know he must have been suffering. I can’t think of many situations where a person would die by suicide and not be suffering. I cannot begrudge him for wanting to put an end to it. I’ve been there. I get it. And in some ways I am glad he is not suffering now.

I also look at the situation from the eyes of one who was “left behind.” This is a new perspective for me. I’m on the outside looking in now, and, I’ve got to tell you, the view isn’t great. Someone posted to his Facebook profile, “You have no idea how missed you are going to be.” There are a lot of people grieving right now. I won’t pretend he and I were close friends, but he was someone I admired and was fond of. I don’t think he would have expected me to cry for him, but I did cry and I am crying and I will almost certainly cry some more.

In truth, this experience is useful for me. It has impacted me. Though I think to myself, if he can’t make it, how the hell am I supposed to? — I also think of the pain this loss has caused. This will be imprinted on me even when I am in a bad state. I know I will not be able to consider killing myself without remembering the words “you have no idea how missed you will be,” and the suffering everyone is going through. I never deluded myself that others would not suffer if I died by suicide, but I always thought, “They’ll get over it.” In a way, I guess it’s true. The pain will lessen with time. But I know, in this situation, there will never be a time when we will stop missing him, and we will never be the same. I have to assume the same would stand if I were in his position.

I dearly wish this wasn’t the major impact his life left on mine, but now it is.

We miss you. Rest easy.

Follow this journey on This Is a Depression Blog.

If you or someone you know needs help, see our suicide prevention resources.

If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Depression

Madelyn and her baby

7 Lessons My Toddler Taught Me About Dealing With Depression

Toddlers learn most things from their parents. They master how to walk by watching us, learn how to feed themselves when we show them how and know how to react to certain situations by imitating us. They develop emotions and express them in raw, unquestionable ways, that admittedly get on my nerves at times. I know [...]
sidewalk chalk that says forgive

To the Therapist I Fired, Thank You

You told me I was faking it — that my suicidal thoughts were elaborate attempts to gain attention. Despite genetic evidence to the contrary, you told me I just didn’t want to take medications. You threw out words like “difficult,” “resistant,” “defiant.” In my despair, I believed you. I thought my treatment-resistant depression, crippling anxiety and inability [...]
girl in bed fast asleep - hand drawn, space in dream bubble for text/image

I Am Skipping Today, and That's OK

Depression wants me to harm myself. It says, “Isolate.” “Sleep.” “Starve.” “Binge.” “Hide.” It says, “Hate yourself.” It says, “Kill yourself.” ”It says, “Tell everyone you are OK, then come back so I may abuse you further.” It does not whisper these words; it shouts in my ear. It claws at me, pulls me under [...]
vector illustration girl in the bedroom

The Most Unhelpful Things You Can Say to Someone Who Is Depressed

We know sometimes people don’t fully understand our mental illness and are only doing their best when they try to give advice. Never the less, some of the “advice” given can be extremely unhelpful. For example: “Try not to spend all day in bed. It will only make you feel worse.” “Why don’t you try and go for a [...]