I have three children 12, 13 and 19 and their father committed suicide 10 years ago (when they were 1, 3 and 9).
They have suffered through many childhood taunts, at times, including:
"Your father killed himself because he didn't want to look after you."
Some parents have prevented their children from playing with my kids, as they didn't like the association with someone who had committed suicide.
My oldest son has finished school, but my younger two have just started and is about to start high school. This means making new friends and meeting new parents of their friends.
Even though, his death was a long time ago, we are still faced with the problem when people, naturally, ask how their Dad (my husband) died. There were times when I drilled them to lie and say he died of a heart attack. The other day I took a deep breath and told another mother, that he committed suicide.
In terms of any medical providers, schools etc, it is vital that they are aware of the nature of their father's death.
Does anyone have any good ideas of how to deal with this? I don't want to encourage my children to lie and feel ashamed of something that was in no way their fault; at the same time, I want to protect them from unnecessary social isolation or the stigma that suicide still has.