Loss is never easy to deal with, no matter the cause of death, but more so if it involves suicide. What happens after a suicidal death in UK? How do survivors, including family and close friends, cope with the death or manage the body?
We want to make things less painful and confusing by putting together this helpful guide.
What is Done After Suicide?
There are many things for bereaved people to consider in the event of a suicide death.
The police have the responsibility to inform the next of kin of the death. They also have to investigate the cause of death and submit a report to the coroner. This includes talking to witnesses and taking witness statements.
This can be a trying time for the family, but officers are trained to handle the situation with the utmost respect. If there are any concerns about how the investigation is done, there are ways to get in touch with relevant authorities.
A coroner may be a doctor or a lawyer, as long as he or she has five years of experience. It is the job of the coroner’s office to investigate further how the person died.
A death is usually referred to a coroner if it is sudden, suspicious, or the cause is unknown. The coroner decides the cause of death.
If there are enough reasons for it, say the death is violent or unnatural, coroners recommend an inquest, and it is taken to the coroner’s court, where a hearing is held.
How long the investigation will last depends on the following:
The coroner needs to do a post mortem, which is an examination of the body. This is usually done two to three days after the death. All of the findings will be included in the post mortem report, and the death certificate filled out by the coroner.
Aside from doing the examination, the coroner sometimes needs to look at the medical history of the person who has died to prove without a doubt that the verdict is correct.
Handling the Personal Effects
Getting back the belongings of the person who died can be upsetting for the family. Additionally, it may take some time to arrange, especially if the death happened overseas.
In England and Wales, an inquest is done to make sure that the verdict on the cause of death is correct. During an inquest, there is a chance that private information about the deceased will come out. Inquests are public hearings and the media might attend.
It is possible for the inquest or the coroner’s investigation to take months. However, the body can be released sooner as long as the coroner has enough information from it. Also, samples of tissues or organs will be kept if needed as evidence.
If the death certificate has already been issued, the funeral can be held. This usually happens after the post mortem but before the inquest is concluded.
With the funeral, the family can start the bereavement process, which is an important step in maintaining good mental health. Support from a close friend or relative will also be important.
A Helping Hand
Funerals can be expensive, but a registered charity can help with the expenses. Distant relatives, friends, and the community can also pitch in.
Is There an Inquest After Suicide?
Once the death has been referred to a coroner, there is no need for them to secure consent or permission for the post mortem, as it is required by law. However, there are cases where the family can view the remains before the examination.
Whether an inquest will be done or not will depend on the findings of the coroner. It is the coroner’s responsibility to examine the body, determine the cause of death, and find out if an inquest is necessary.
How Long Does it Take for a Coroner to Release a Body?
The coroner could do the post mortem within two to three days of the death, but there are cases where it is done within 24 hours. However, these investigations can take weeks, depending on the circumstances surrounding the death.
Once the examinations are done, the coroner can issue the release papers for the body. From there, the undertakers appointed by the family can collect the remains and prepare for the funeral.
Waiting for the remains of a loved one can be very upsetting, so it is important for the bereaved people to support one another and for the community to reach out to them.
So what happens after a suicidal death (UK)? A lot, and it is easy for a family to get overwhelmed. Still, with the right information and enough support, they can start the process of healing and honour the memory of their loved one.