22 Children, Teens and Suicide Loss • Hopelessness: Some children express a sense of hopelessness after a suicide death — there may be a sense that the grief, pain, and suffering will never end • Anger: Children might be angry with the person who died, with you, and/or themselves for not being able to prevent the death; as they grow older, they may feel increasingly angry as they become more aware of how the loss has affected their life • Guilt:Children might feel they should have done or said (or not done or said) something to keep the person from dying, or they may worry they weren’t good or nice to the person who died; if a teen is grieving the death of a younger sibling, they may feel guilty for not having been more protective • Shame: The negative judgments of others about the death or about the person who died can leave children feeling embarrassed or ashamed — talking openly about suicide can help reduce this shame and show them how to respond to those judgments • Relief: If the person who died struggled with mental illness, substance use and addiction, or violent impulses, children may feel relieved that the chaos the person brought into their lives is over — relief is often closely followed by guilt; reassure them that having a sense of relief doesn’t mean they wanted or caused the person to die What additional relationship-specific issues may come up? Be aware of any new and changing dynamics within your family. It is very common for conflicts to arise following a loss. Give your loved ones the space they need, while encouraging open and honest communication. Distant or Conflict-Filled Relationships If the relationship between your child or teen and the person who died had a lot of conflict or disappointment­­— particularly if the person struggled with mental illness, substance abuse, or physical pain —