14 Children, Teens and Suicide Loss mean you’re doing a bad job of explaining. Death is a hard concept for anyone to understand, especially for a child who hasn’t experienced a loss before. Over time, their questions may change, and the answers you provide may take on new meaning. If a question comes up that you don’t know the answer to, don’t feel you need to be definitive; it’s okay to say, “This is the best guess I have.” Start by sharing your thoughts, then invite the children to share their own ideas. Here are some questions that often arise after a suicide loss, and suggestions on how to respond. Adjust your answers to the child’s maturity level, as needed. Why did they do this? You know, I have that question, too. We may never have all the answers as to why your mom killed herself. There are some things that we do know, though. She felt hopeless, and was drinking too much, and that probably made her think she didn’t want to be alive anymore. Who will take care of me if you die? There will always be someone to take care of you. Is there someone you’d prefer to take care of you if I should die? Why would you choose them? Is there someone you would not choose? I have made a plan with your aunt and uncle; they love you very much and will take care of you if something should happen to me. Even though we never know when we will die, I plan to live for a very long time and take care of you the best that I can. Will you die by suicide? Will I die like that, too? I don’t intend to die by suicide. If I ever started to think about it, I would tell someone and get help. If you ever think about it, you can tell me [and/or another adult], and I will get you help. Can we agree that we will both do that?