Individuals who die by suicide are loved and cherished like people who die from any cause. An important part of healing for survivors of suicide loss is celebrating the life of the loved one who died and grieving the loss. Policies about memorialization such as in schools, institutions of higher education or workplaces should be consistently applied across all types of deaths.
Special care needs to be taken regarding memorials on behalf of loved ones who die by suicide because adolescents are especially vulnerable to the risk of suicide contagion. Memorials should focus on how the person lived, rather than how they died. Memorials should carry a message of prevention and hope for others as they would for a person who died from any other preventable form of death.
Create a Tribute Page
In our organization, we encourage families to host memorial donation pages for individuals in their lives who have died by suicide because we believe it gives grieving friends and family an opportunity to do something to help prevent other deaths by suicide. This opportunity offered to families who lose loved ones to other causes by organizations working on behalf of prevention. We will work with you to ensure the tribute emphasizes the unique life of the person you lost while simultaneously ensuring a message of prevention and hope. Please contact Kristen Morgan, communications and development manager, at 206.616.9940.
Partner with Forefront Suicide Prevention
- Give a donation in memory of your loved one to support the work that Forefront is doing to prevent suicide in honor of your loved one. There are many ways to do this; one way is by creating an award to support schools or organizations that are taking initiative in preventing suicide for those they serve.
- An example of this is the Trevor R. Simpson Award – Named in memory of a young high school student who died by suicide, several schools are honored each year with monetary award and a plaque presented to the school by Trevor’s parents. We will work with you to honor your loved one in whatever way you see fit to make the greatest impact.
- Become a volunteer! Forefront volunteers are critical resources across Washington’s counties for suicide prevention. These individuals share a deep commitment to suicide prevention. Our Community Organizers program is key to fulfilling this mission, equipping individuals whose lives have been touched by suicide to become advocates working to prevent suicide in Washington state.
- Bring about change: Support innovative policy changes that will improve suicide prevention in Washington State by lobbying and personal testimony through Forefront. Contact Debbie Reisert, volunteer coordinator, for more information.
- Write about your loved one. If you wish, share it in a way that feels right to you.
- Ask your loved one’s relatives, friends, or co-workers to contribute their favorite memories or photos, and use them to make a scrapbook or memory box. This can help you to celebrate your loved one’s life while giving others a chance to get involved, too.
- Cook your loved one’s favorite meal, participate in activities they liked, listen to music they enjoyed, or read a book that reminds you of them.
- Plant a tree in their memory.
- If you can afford it, donate a park bench, or engrave a plaque with your loved one’s name.
- Support people by phone who are newly bereaved by the loss of a loved one to suicide through Forefront’s peer support network.
- Organize and oversee the creation of a memory quilt with fellow survivors through AFSP.
- Participate in a community Out of Darkness Walk in honor of your loved one through AFSP.