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What do you say to a friend whose husband just committed suicide?

Re: What do you say to a friend whose husband just committed suicide?

  • Nothing you can say!  Just be there for her and console her the best you can. 
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  • Oh man, I wouldn't even know where to begin. I would just let her know you're there for her, if she wants someone to stay with her, take her out, talk, anything she needs you're there. How sad :(
  • This happened to one of my really good friends from high school about 8 years ago...getting that call from her was something I never would have thought I'd get.  I agree with the others, there is nothing you can really say--most likely, she is probably in shock and won't be saying much. Just be there for her.

    That is so terrible, I'm sorry.

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  • There isn't much you can say. I would just let her know that you are there for her.
    Started TTC December 2009 DX: Unexplained by RE in June 2011 IUI #1 - Clomid and Trigger - BFN(July 2011) IUI #2 - Clomid and Trigger - BFN(August 2011) IUI #3 - Clomid and Trigger - BFN(September 2011 IUI #4 - FSH(Bravelle) and Trigger - BFP (10/21/11) M/C 10/31/2011 IUI #5- FSH(Bravelle)and Trigger- BFN Taking a break before heading own the ivf road.
  • Oh man, that is terrible. I would just be there for her, try to bring her food and console her. See if she needs any help with arrangements or household chores or anything like that to help lessen her burden.
  • wow, I'm sorry for your friend. I wouldn't even know where to begin. I'd let her know that if there's anything I could do to help, I'd be there for her.
  • Wow that is horrible.  I'm so so so sorry Tree. 

    I just want to echo the other ladies and say that all you can really tell someone is how sorry you are.  In cases like this, there really isn't much else you can say.

  • I'm sorry.  I know how rough it can be.  My cousin committed suicide a few years back and just about a year ago a friend of mine's father did too.  I think one comforting thing is to reassure your friend that it was not her fault and that he didn't do it to hurt her, but instead, he did it because he was hurting.  Not having answers is the hardest thing to deal with because you analyze every little thing you ever told that person.  It's so sad that people are in so much pain that they think suicide is the answer.  Just be there for her and reassure her that he loved her and wants the best for her.

  • I'm so sorry for your friend.  I agree with everyone else, you can offer to be there for her and help her in whatever she needs.  Consoling would be so difficult, but what she really needs is support.
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  • That really sucks, I'm very sorry for your friend...  I agree with the PP, just let her know that you are there for her!  
  • I agree with everyone here and just wanted to tell you how sorry I am you are going through this. Just be there for her as much as you can and help as she might need but keep in mind she might not be ready to talk it all out just yet. Remind her, though, that its not her fault and that you love her and are there for her.
  • I don't think there's anything you can say besides I'm sorry this happened, and even that sounds kind of.....inadequate, to say the least.  I think its more important just to BE there for her and to let her know you are always available if she needs help/a shoulder to cry on/etc.
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  • Oh Tree, I'm so sorry. That is horrible. I agree with the others that there isn't much you can do but tell her how sorry you are and be there for her.

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  • tell her you love her and try to get her out of the house.  bring some hot coffee and take her for a long walk somewhere quiet.

    I'm sorry arbolita. 

  • A little against the grain...rather then telling someone "it's not your fault", I would acknowledge that it's complicated grief.  Hear me out, If their mind is arguing that there must have been something they could have done, and you are arguing that there isn't, THIER mind is going to argue harder that there is something they could have done.

    I would encourage them to seek out ongoing support (like a support group).

     Also, I'm assuming her husband was mentally ill, and one thing you have to acknowledge is that we as survivors are trying to make sense out of something that wouldn't make sense to a well mind anyways, we would have to be depressed, or bipolor, or paranoid ourselves to understand the place he was and why he decided to end his life.  Since we can't do that, it's complicated

  • Oh my God, Tree.  I'm so sorry.  Your poor friend :(

    I don't think there's much that can be said... you just stand by and give comfort and support.

  • First and foremost, I am sorry for your loss. Not only did your friend lose her husband but you have lost a friend.

    Your friend is most likely being overwhelmed with condolences and "I am sorry for your loss." I think just letting her know that you are avaliable at anytime to talk, to laugh with, to cry with (basically if she doesn't want to talk about her loss but wants talk about other things you are there).

    Also you need to make sure you are ok, so you don't transfer any feelings onto her.

    Also my sister's best friend mother committed suicide (her friend actually found her mother, whole story is a nightmare). One of the amazing things about my sister is she was there when everyone else had left. My sister would just go over to her friend's house and hang out. My sister never imposed herself with questions. She never brought the subject up unless she did, but I think the biggest thing is she was there when everyone else had forgotten what had happen. My sister still ramains very close with this friend.

  • Thanks everyone.  I am just so numb right now because this news really just came out of nowhere.  I'm going to try and get ahold of another of her good friends to see if she knows any details about what happened because I'm sure my friend doesn't want to go into it at the moment. 


    There is a picture of them from our wedding that she hasn't seen yet. Should I bring it with me Saturday, or would it be too soon? 

  • How awful - I'm so sorry.  I guess I would just be there - the physical presence of a friend is probably better than anything you could say out loud.  The whole "not your fault" thing...I don't know.  Saying that sort of thing out loud just sort of reinforces the idea that it's what she and others might be thinking.  (A psych major friend of mine once told me that "people are conditioned to filter out the word not".  It was an interesting bit of advice that rang true to me....)

    As for the picture - it's probably too soon but maybe put it in your purse when you go and take it out if it feels right?

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  • Oh tree, I'm so sorry.

    I agree with rags and others that your physical presence woudl probably mean more than anything you can say. 

    And I do think it's probably too soon for the picture.

  • I would definitely reach out and let her know you are there for her as she might have a difficult time reaching for you.  I would make sure you are in the best frame of mind you can be in though before speaking with her or being with her in person.  She is going to need the support and it will take a lot out of you.  I would also suggest processing the time you spent with her with someone else as that is a lot to take on...even for a friend.   

    ETA: And I am a doof....and did not say it earlier, but I am so sorry for your loss.

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  • I have a co-worker who went through this several years ago.  I would just let her know that you are there for her when she needs to talk.  Obviously she might not be ready to do that yet.  What a horrible thing to have to go through. :(  I'm so sorry that your friend has to do so.

  • There's really nothing you can say to her, just hold her hand, hug her and cry with her.

    And keep doing it.

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  • Oh man, that's really terrible. Your poor friend. I'm so sorry for your loss. I think the only thing you can really do is be there for her when and if she needs help
  • Tree-


         I think you know this, but my father committed suicide 5.5 years ago.  My family all dealt with it very differently.  We all had the 20/20 hindsight to how bad things had gotten when it was too late.  It took my mom probably a good year before she stopped feeling guilty for doing anything "fun".   My younger brother and I did therapy, and my other siblings dealt with it by not really dealing with it.

         There is a really good book called "No Time to Say Good-bye-Surviving the Suicide of a Loved One".  It helped me out a lot.  There are a couple of suicide support groups (Survivors of Suicide)-one in Lutherville, one in BAltimore, one in Cockeysville-amongst others!

         I would say what mattered to me the most, by my friends, was the ones that didn't disappear after the funeral. My father left no note-we didn't understand and we struggled with so much afterwards. 


    I'm so sorry for your loss-If your friend is looking to talk to anyone, please feel free to give her my name if it would help.



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  • Thanks for that Melissa.  Now that you mentioned it, I do remember that about your father. I believe we met not long after it happened.
  • No problem- really, if there is anything I can do please let me know.


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