Ask Sam letter

Asker

To Sam

My uncle's suicide

Hi,

last week my uncle killed himself. he had struggled from mental health issues for a while and had attempted suicide about 6 months ago he was like a father to me as my dad works abroad and i see him maybe 1 week a year and i dont really get on with my mum. i have really struggled to get to terms with his death and i just have really had some problems worh accepting it.

thanks any help or advice would be appreciated.

Ask Sam

Sam

Hi there,

It's very difficult when someone dies, but can be especially hard if they ended their own life. Suicide can bring up a lot of complex emotions long after the person has died. It might take some time to come to terms with what happened to your uncle, but over time it will get easier.

It's okay to not know what to feel or think about this. Nobody really has answers when it comes to what your uncle was going through. The only person who may have been able to explain it was your uncle himself. It might be that you go through different emotions – maybe feeling angry with your uncle for doing this, but then also feeling sad that he didn't get the help he needed. There’s no right or wrong way to feel, even if your feelings might seem negative at first it's important to accept that this is how you feel and that's okay.

It's very important that you and your family don't blame yourselves or feel guilty themselves for your uncle's death. Suicide and mental health problems are extremely complicated and there are lots of different reasons leading up to someone taking their own life. Most people need professional help when they’re suicidal. It's always possible to get better but it does usually rely on the suicidal person themselves. Nobody else can really fix their problems, they can only offer their support so the person can work on the problem themselves.

As you were close to your uncle it sounds like you may have been one of the positive things in his life. Positives help people carry on and get through the day. Sometimes someone's mental health problem means that even the good things in their life can't stop them from feeling the way they do. That's not your fault. With suicide, it can be tempting to try and think about things you "could have done" - but there's no way to know how things would have been different. Try instead to focus on the things you did do - the good times you had with your uncle and the relationship you had together.

I hope this has helped, but if you want to know more about coping with suicide, Winston's Wish is a good place to start. Our counsellors are also here for you whenever you want to talk.

Thanks for your letter.

Take care,

Sam

Need help straight away?

You can talk privately to a counsellor online or call 0800 1111 for free.

Ask me a question

You can ask me about anything you want, there's nothing too big or small.

Write me a letter