Healing After a Loved One's Suicide

The loss of a loved one is difficult regardless of the circumstances, but when the person takes their own life, it can be understandably devastating. The grief can be heart-wrenching, and those closest to the person may be consumed by guilt for not preventing their loved one’s death, even though they wouldn’t have had that power.

“Unfortunately, over the past few years I’ve seen a substantial increase in the number of families that we’ve taken care of who lost a family member to suicide,” said John Adolf, Director of Adolf Funeral Services. “I’ve also seen that many more young people are committing suicide than in years past.”

According to Adolf, no matter what type of death has occurred within a family, each person needs to find an individual healing mechanism for themselves. “Family circumstances surrounding a suicide may be similar, but each situation is still extremely individual and personal,” he explained. “The most common feeling I’ve seen among families is that they’re looking for someone to blame for the situation. I don’t believe finding something or someone to blame leads to healing, however.”

The suicide of a loved one can trigger intense emotions, including shock, emotional numbness, anger, guilt, and despair. The aftermath can be physically and emotionally exhausting, and family members and friends of the deceased need to protect their own well-being. Healing is a personal journey.

“There are many organizations and professionals with the skills and the compassion to help those who lost a dear loved one to suicide,” added Adolf. “While there’s no one solution for everyone, each person needs to seek out what will help them the most.” If possible, reach out to loved ones, friends, and spiritual leaders for comfort, understanding and healing. If you experience intense anguish or physical problems, ask your doctor or mental health provider for help. For more information, please contact:

Adolf Funeral Home & Cremation Services

John R. Adolf, Director


7000 South Madison Street

Willowbrook, IL 60527


2921 South Harlem Avenue

Berwyn, IL 60402