Etiquette: Memorials for a Suicide

Consider holding a candlelight memorial instead of creating a display.
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Memorials are designed to honor the deceased and allow loved ones to grieve and the need to honor someone who died is not lessened by the fact that the loved one chose suicide. A memorial for someone who committed suicide displayed at a funeral service or on private property can take whatever form the family prefers. Whether a public memorial is appropriate in the case of a suicide should be considered carefully, however.

1 Use Caution and Care

Public memorials are not uncommon, especially when the deceased is a child or teenager. The biggest fear when it comes to public space memorials, however, is that the memorial might trigger someone who is troubled to also commit suicide, according to the Suicide Prevention Resource Center. This is especially true when it comes to teenage suicides and memorials at schools. For this reason, schools should have a consistent policy in place for all memorials, regardless of the cause of death. In addition, public displays in memory of a person who committed suicide are discouraged. Instead, the Suicide Prevention Resource Center suggests that loved ones consider planning a gathering or an activity that honors the deceased.