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Obviously a sensitive topic, don't read on if you don't like it.

Unfortunately people in our society can have terrible lives and mental states (and more) that can lead them to take their own lives. I'm young, so to more socially experienced people out there: How are you supposed to react as someone not completely involved?

People always say "it's disgusting when so many people who never cared about this person when they were alive, are all gushing about them now". Well, yeah, when someone dies (especially at their own hands), members of society around them have a right to be concerned. But perhaps not that deeply concerned?

What are we supposed/expected to say? What makes the family and friends of the individual feel better?

Do we not say anything? If we're an acquaintance or a friend, do we send cards and messages and whatever or just shut up? Do we attend the funeral and say "meaningless words"? Give hugs?

Of course, this all depends on how close we were to the individual. I'm talking about anything between classmate/coworker to friend-but-not-too-close-friend.

I understand why it would disgust people close to a suicidal individual how everybody floods in with emotion after a death and not before. But in which way are we supposed to act if a death like that does happen, then?

(If you've read The Fault in Our Stars, you know exactly what i'm referring to. But more for suicide, less for general death.)
 
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I just think there is a way to show respect for someone’s life from a distance and not step on close families toes

One can acknowledge someone’s grief and extend sympathy in a respectful manner which is not obnoxious (many people do not have boundaries and take on their own overwhelming flood of emotions to situational things as their own that is the problem)

I remember at my dads funeral having to listen to idiots I didn’t know recant their stupid stories and blubber and cry (eh yeah why the fuck am I patting someone on the back who suddenly has a flood of emotions derived with sudden loss because they read an obituary)
 

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I think it's appropriate to offer your condolences. If you're just an acquaintance, you probably shouldn't be the one crying and need consoling, such as @Sensational mentioned. Yeah, when someone commits suicide, people come out of the woodwork and say nice things about the person, even if they weren't very friendly with them. I think it's normal to feel a loss if you knew them. I had a coworker who lost her adult son unexpectedly, who I'd never met. I talked to her about him and what she was going through. She appreciated what I had to say and didn't feel as though I was "piling on" like what you're describing. I think it's about your approach and how you handle yourself. Blabbering on or making a scene for someone you knew in passing is not perceived well. I don't think ignoring the situation is the right way to handle it at all. Saying I'm sorry for your loss is something many grieving people hear and it's often met with derision. I try to just say I'm sorry. But it all depends on the person and the situation. There isn't anything that will make the grieving person feel better. They're grieving and sometimes they will react in ways that can be difficult for outsiders to understand. They may be angered by the condolences, they may appreciate them, or they may barely remember them. How you react while grieving is individual and therefore communicating with a grieving person is delicate. If you have little to say, just tell them that you're sorry. You have to judge the person though. Some people like to hear stories about the person, some aren't ready.
 

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It's always appropriate to observe the conventions. Our conventions are really gentle. Sending a card is thoughtful and kind. Look up complaining into the circle, basically it depends on where you fall in the grief ranking system who you can lean on.

When I lost a colleague that I really liked someone told me you can't apply reason to an unreasonable action. It really helped.
 

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Obviously a sensitive topic, don't read on if you don't like it.

Unfortunately people in our society can have terrible lives and mental states (and more) that can lead them to take their own lives. I'm young, so to more socially experienced people out there: How are you supposed to react as someone not completely involved?

People always say "it's disgusting when so many people who never cared about this person when they were alive, are all gushing about them now". Well, yeah, when someone dies (especially at their own hands), members of society around them have a right to be concerned. But perhaps not that deeply concerned?

What are we supposed/expected to say? What makes the family and friends of the individual feel better?

Do we not say anything? If we're an acquaintance or a friend, do we send cards and messages and whatever or just shut up? Do we attend the funeral and say "meaningless words"? Give hugs?

Of course, this all depends on how close we were to the individual. I'm talking about anything between classmate/coworker to friend-but-not-too-close-friend.

I understand why it would disgust people close to a suicidal individual how everybody floods in with emotion after a death and not before. But in which way are we supposed to act if a death like that does happen, then?

(If you've read The Fault in Our Stars, you know exactly what i'm referring to. But more for suicide, less for general death.)
From someone who has tried doing that a couple of times, I can say that if you were close to the person you should offer condolences to the family, not overtly emotional ones but the ones where you actually try to help them like I would expect that some of my friends (especially who happen to live in the same block as mine) would try to help with some chores and stuff ... it really does help a lot IMO

A few years ago, a cousin of mine was found dead in the bathroom ... he was just 12. We still don't know why he did what he did but I tried my best to visit my aunt's place, not to talk about him but just to help with things ... stuff which he used to do mostly for his family. I was not very close to him but he was the last of us (youngest cousin of mine), the only kid in my extended family which talked to. Otherwise, if you are not closer to that person or to that person's family... all you can do is just attend the funeral at most.
 
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