Some people aren’t aware of this, another option is ‘died by’, this replaces the judgement with the acknowledgement that suicide is complex and the person suffered from something. It’s hard for someone people to understand the distinction but the best example I can give is that we would not say a smoker committed suicide when their smoking related lung cancer ended their life, we would say they died of lung cancer. In a way this separation is similar with suicide, the death was a result of a symptom and it’s important to acknowledge the symptom in order to remove some of the judgement, disdain and anger people have around suicide.
It may be a slightly difficult read and I am much more well than when I first wrote this post so a lot of my impulsivity and back up plans no longer apply but I think the below post from 2016 explores some of these issues well. Although I am now very well I have experienced and will likely at some point experience again the most horrific emotional pain. As a result when I hear someone has died by suicide my only feeling is empathy because I understand how much pain they must have been in. I know for those who have lost a loved one to suicide there will of course be many other emotions at play because the repercussions are so wide for those left behind but from the perspective of someone who has considered suicide at multiple times since being diagnosed I can understand how people reach this point.The language is important to encourage those who have not had an experience to consider the awful state of mind someone must be in to make this decision.