The rational suicide of a loved one will evoke mixed reactions in those close to that person. The broader community’s reaction may also be mixed. While most people support the concept of rational suicide there is still a significant minority who do not. It cannot be assumed that there will always be sympathy for those left behind so be careful.
In many circumstances where a person has died of their own hand, counselling may be of assistance for those left behind. The ability to talk things through can be therapeutic and can go a long way towards easing the inevitable grief and despair.
Private counsellors list their services in most countries’ telephone directories and of course online. Community health centres also commonly offer counselling as part of their range of health services. There are also often community telephone help lines.
Fig 22.6: Angelika Elliott with her husband John on the morning of his assisted suicide in Zurich in 2007