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Question
Posted by: JoJo | 2008/05/22

Suicide

Hi
My friends 90 yr old grandfather committed suicide this morning. He shot and killed himself, but left no note. He wasn't sick, was actually in pretty good health and although he lsot his wife 4 years ago, he had both his daughters living nearby and saw them almost everyday as well as his grandchildren.
He left the house open and the family knows he planned it.
How do i comfort my friend? I don't know what to say to her.

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Our expert says:
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Remember, in comforting, its always more important to listen than to find something marvellous to say --- there's nothing clever we can say to make tragedies like this seem OK. Maybe he was still missing his wife. Maybe, though healthy enough now, he wanted to end himself while he still could. Maybe he was more depressed than anyone realized. Let her speak to you, as and if she wishes. Don't lean on the old cliches about "He had a long life", etc. Just be available, and be sure she knows you are, and don't press her to talk more than she wants to or before she is ready to do so.

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