"It's a living experience" : bereavement by suicide in later life

Hafford-Letchfield, Trish and Hanna, Jeffrey and Grant, Evan and Ryder-Davies, Lesley and Cogan, Nicola and Goodman, Jolie and Rasmussen, Susan and Martin, Sophie (2022) "It's a living experience" : bereavement by suicide in later life. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19 (12). 7217. ISSN 1660-4601 (https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19127217)

[thumbnail of Hafford-Letchfield-etal-IJERPH-2022-bereavement-by-suicide-in-later-life]
Text. Filename: Hafford_Letchfield_etal_IJERPH_2022_bereavement_by_suicide_in_later_life.pdf
Final Published Version
License: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 logo

Download (334kB)| Preview


Bereavement by suicide for people in later life is significantly under-researched. Research on ageing and suicide has yet to address the experiences of those bereaved by suicide and how such a devastating loss affects the ageing experience. Objectives: We explored the substantive issues involved in bereavement by suicide and its impact on later life. Methods: This was a co-produced qualitative study. Peer researchers with lived experience conducted in-depth interviews with twenty-four people aged 60–92 years. A phenomenological approach informed the data analysis. Main Findings: Themes described included (1) moral injury and trauma; (2) the rippling effect on wider family and networks; (3) transitions and adaptations of bereaved people and how their ‘living experi-ence’ impacted on ageing. Conclusions: It is important to understand how individual experiences of suicide intersect with ageing and the significance of targeted assessment and intervention for those bereaved by suicide in ageing policies and support.