What happens to the soul after suicide?

Written by Lynette Hoy NCC, LCPC

soulsuicideWhat happens to one’s soul/spirit after suicide?I recently had a close friend commit suicide and I am so worried that she will still not be at peace with herself. She had an anxiety disorder due to a troubled childhood and although she loved life, her friends, and her family, she just could not be independent as she could not relax.

We struggled together with this for so long. She was a creative and loving individual who had traveled much and lived away from us for a few years, so she had known independence. She feared for her sanity – she explained to me that she wanted to die because she actually did love herself and the constant thoughts going through her head would eventually turn into madness. I dearly love her and couldn’t bear to think that she will eternally go through this struggle. I am searching within myself to find meaning in my loss.

Advice: It’s obvious that you were and are a very close and loving friend. You have suffered with your friend right up to the end and beyond. You cared about her welfare, her emotional and spiritual state. But, now this tragedy has occurred and no matter what you or anyone tried to do – she has passed into eternity.

First of all, I want to tell you that your friend’s suicide and death was not anyone’s fault. Her suicide was the result of her choice and her psychological instability. Don’t let false guilt and self-blame take over. You and others tried to help. But, this woman is the one who made the choice despite all your pleadings and intervention.

Secondly, you need to grieve your friend’s death. You will go through several stages of loss: shock and denial, protest and dealing with the reality of her death, anger, confusion, depression and finally, reorganization. It’s normal to grieve. It’s important to care for yourself. You may need counseling. Go to your pastor for prayer and support. Read your Bible, especially the Psalms and the gospel of John. Jesus talks about God’s love for you and for the world, His plan to give you eternal life (John 3:16) and abundant life (John 10:10). Scripture will bring you comfort and hope for the future – hope for eternity.

The Bible does have stories about people who committed suicide but, it doesn’t talk about where their souls went – to heaven or to hell. But, Jesus promised: “I am the resurrection and the life – he who believes in me though he may die – yet shall he live.” John 11:25 If your friend trusted in Christ as her Lord and Savior – she is in heaven today. How do I know? Because Jesus said “I am the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father but by me.” John 14:6

Jesus claimed to be God, to speak the truth and the words of God. He died on the cross for the sins of the whole world and then, rose from the dead on the their day. Over 500 witnesses saw the resurrected Christ!
Because of these facts – you can have great hope for the future! You can trust that Christ loved your friend greatly and will judge her justly.

Suicide is a devastating experience to those who loved its victim. Suicide happens because the person is so depressed and has not received the appropriate treatment – mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually.

But, suicide, though a sin, can be forgiven – at the foot of the cross where all sin is wiped away when one believes in the Savior who sacrificed Himself to redeem the world.

You will never feel comfortable with what happened. A life was lost. But, you can trust that God can bring good out of this circumstance. God can become more personal to you in this time of suffering. God can give you courage and make you a person of character with strong values. God can demonstrate His love and comfort to you during your pain. God can give you more wisdom to help others who have suffered.

This world is a broken place – a place that is not our home. We are just passing through. Your friend could not stand the emotional and mental turmoil she experienced. But, you can. You and God can go on.

She ended her stay on earth and God allowed her to do it. He did not cause her to do it because He is not the author of evil. He does allow people to make choices which are against His will. But, you can find hope and courage to discover God’s will for your earthly life. You can leave a legacy that will give others hope for tomorrow and for eternity.

If you find you are depressed and anxious because of this – see a counselor. You can find a counselor. God bless you as you discover what He has in store for you even in the midst of this loss.

Take a look at your life. How would you describe it? Contented? Rushed? Exciting? Stressful? Moving forward? Holding back? For many of us it’s all of the above at times. There are things we dream of doing one day, there are things we wish we could forget. In the Bible, it says that Jesus came to make all things new.

What would your life look like if you could start over with a clean slate?

Living with hope

If you are looking for peace, there is a way to balance your life. No one can be perfect, or have a perfect life. But every one of us has the opportunity to experience perfect grace through a personal relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ.

You can receive Christ right now by faith through prayer. Praying is simply talking to God. God knows your heart and is not so concerned with your words as He is with the attitude of your heart. Here’s a suggested prayer:

Lord Jesus, I want to know you personally. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life to you and ask you to come in as my Savior and Lord. Take control of my life. Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Make me the kind of person you want me to be.

Does this prayer express the desire of your heart? You can pray it right now, and Jesus Christ will come into your life, just as He promised.

Is this the life for you?

If you invited Christ into your life, thank God often that He is in your life, that He will never leave you and that you have eternal life. As you learn more about your relationship with God, and how much He loves you, you’ll experience life to the fullest.

Read more about faith
Read more about depression, anxiety, and fear
Read about grieving
Read more about suicide

Lynette Hoy, NCC, LCPC

© copyright 2003 Lynette Hoy, NCC, LCPC



376 Responses to “What happens to the soul after suicide?”

  • Trish Hicks says:

    I can feel for ones who feel rejected.I have been there many time after time.But what i have learned in my walk with the Lord that w have to like ourselves first before anyone else can like or so much as love us.Proverbs23:Proverbs 23:7King James Version (KJV)7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.
    Others sense somehow i had to find this out the hard way. If you walk into a party say by yourself thinking ah no one is going to like me why am i going?People are going to sense the insecurity.And they will just react as you are thinking ones will.Rejecting you.If you walk around thinking i am no one,No one will listen to me no one cares,people sense that and they won’t care.I haven’t clue in my mind how this is.But i have noticed a huge change in my life changing the way i think of myself.
    Self confidence is the key. I have found that reading the bible and walking with christ has given me all the confidence i need.Because my confidence is in him Christ that he will and can do all things,to which i can do all things in his strength with my confidence in him .Having confidence in him,in turn helps you to have confidence in yourself.Knowing that all that matters is Christ loves me whoever doesn’t it is not important.
    This is not an easy concept to come to but with practice and keeping in the word which is the most important key, as time goes by it gets a little easier and easier.

    I do hope this has helped someone.My prayers go out to all who suffer from lack of self confidence ,because again I have been there.

    To me suicide may help stop our pain but sure causes a lot for others.So to me that is not being Christ like because being a disciple of Christ we are to be thinking of others,before our own comforts and desires.
    As to where the soul goes after suicide,at first i used to always think anyone committing suicide would go straight to hell.However in time i have learned,if you have been walking with Christ,and you are his child,and commit suicide for one reason or another,absolutely nothing,other then turning and committing the unpardonable sin can take you out of God’s hands.Is what i believe.I could be wrong,i could be dead wrong,but in my heart this is what i believe the spirit has told me.
    Numbers6:22-Numbers 6:22-27King James Version (KJV)

    22 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,

    23 Speak unto Aaron and unto his sons, saying, On this wise ye shall bless the children of Israel, saying unto them,

    24 The Lord bless thee, and keep thee:

    25 The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:

    26 The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.

    27 And they shall put my name upon the children of Israel, and I will bless them.

  • Don says:

    There is a misconception about calling 911 and forcing someone into a 72 hour detention. Not every mental health facility is the same. I had and 13 years later still have major depression. When I was forced into detention, my experience was horrifying and multiplied my depression many times. I was like a caged animal, striking out at anyone and anything. It would eventually destroy my relations with family and friends. The staff were untrained,uncaring,without empathy. It was all about control. It was a prison. Only through the grace of God did I survive. I do now understand that if someone really wants to commit suicide, there isn’t to much, physical, anyone can do to stop it. They can be very creative and determined if they want to be. Only constant love and understanding can the cycle be broken. Do not give up on them, no matter how angry they may be. And never never yell at them. They will pull inside their shell even more. If they fight you. Hold them closer. And ignore what they say. I promise you that they will eventually understand that you love them and they will concede. It won’t be easy, but be more determined, than they are, and you will be successful and help them.

  • Elkay says:

    Chris, James 1:2 is a rather short verse, but it contains tremendous insight into the issue of life’s trials. The phrase “when you encounter various trials” includes three key words that demonstrate the universality of man’s hardships. First, it is significant that James uses the word “when.” This defines the issue; undergoing trials is not a matter of if but rather when. Second, when he says that you will “encounter” misfortune, he is stating that difficulties will arise unexpectedly; there may be no time to prepare for these dilemmas. Third, he uses the adjective “various” to denote the ever-changing, often-surprising forms in which trials appear.

    There are 2 videos about dealing with pain on the following web-site and I hope you can find the time and energy to watch them.


    Dear Heavenly Father,
    Thank you that in the midst of tribulation, Chris can choose to trust You because You are trustworthy. Regardless of the circumstances being faced, You are and always will be good. Please send relief in these times of inner pain and send forth Your Spirit to give the faith to trust you fully. Amen.

  • dream says:

    Chris.. Nobody is judging you We all have pains and sufferings. Evil will take care to give us as much pain as possible. Some people can bear it better some not. Some trouble for somebody is nothing for other person the same trouble can mean a big thing. We should support each other in Christ.

  • Chris says:

    chris…sorry to hear of your pain…your life is important to me as it is to christ. please share your story so we can look to jesus together for the answers you need. thanks!!

  • Tom Tom says:

    Consider this: When Jesus died on the cross to pay for your sins, how many of your sins had you personally committed? None. He died 2,000 years ago. Therefore, when a person has repented and trusted in Jesus Christ and has been born again, if through circumstances of pain or suffering or prescribed drug depression a Christian kills themselves, that sin has already been forgiven 2,000 years ago. All sins, past, present, and future, are forgiven when a person trusts in Jesus Christ.

  • dream says:

    To Chris.. Yes all sins are forgiveable but how someone will ask for forgivness if he will commit suicide? He will have no time to repent after killing himself and no sin enters heaven! And Jesus wanted to died because he died for our sins you can’t put Jesus desire to die to talk about suicide!

  • chris says:

    Who ever is talking about Christians taking their own lives does not know what they are talking about. I know God is real and I believe in heaven and he’ll and yet I have lived through so much misery I think about ending my life all the time. You people that spout off about God all the time need to get a clue. Just because u have some sense of what ever u want to call it does not matter. U have no clue the pain some of us deal with on a daily basis. God never said he will take the pain away. Never. People like u need to stop judging and start being there for people that have this type of pain inside.

  • Chris says:

    kay….we need to be careful about representing what jesus would say, when he hasnt said. jesus didnt mention suicide but he did say in Matthew 12.31 that all sin was forgiveable. he didnt say suicide was any exception. elijah wanted to die, 1 kings 19. jesus wanted to die, Matthew 26.38 paul was close to wanting to die too, phillipians 1.23.

  • Tom Tom says:

    Hi Kay–
    While I can appreciate your position, please let me speak to you in love and kindness regarding what you wrote:

    It is unreasonable to group all suicides together as we oftentimes don’t know the reason for this final act. While I’m sure there are relatively few Christians who take their own life, I can easily imagine scenarios where a Christian, due to medical situations, is taking certain medications that cause extreme and deep depression or even cause a person to not act in their right mind. I can also envision a Christian who has lived with so much physical pain for so long without any further hope of relief, deciding it would be better to end their life and to be with the Lord.

    Remember that when a person repents and puts their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, they are born again spiritually as a child of God. That can NEVER be taken away. When Christ died for our sins, he died for ALL of them, even the act of suicide. Nothing and no one can pluck the saved believer out of the Father’s hand.

    Lastly, and as simply a point of good theology, no one who dies can become a “demon.” Demons are those angels who sided with Lucifer when he disobeyed God and who now do Satan’s bidding.

    Thanks for allowing me to address these things!

  • lookingup says:

    Suicide is murder and therefore is not God’s will. Jesus said “Because I live, you should live also.” John 14:19

    Kay, on what scriptures do you base your comment on?

  • Kay says:

    You said if one commits suicide is with the Lord.

    Everyone wants to be with the Lord so why dont you all commit suicide.

    Please dont fool yourself as who commits suicide goes with the devil and becomes a slave with him and become a demon.

  • Susan says:


    This is not you talking but I am sure saten is forcing you to talk and you are listening to him but not listening to God. God loves you so much and He sent His own precious Son to save you. Don’t talk such things…listen to God. You are not realizing what youa re talking. You mentioned,”let me perish peacefully…” my friend, no peace but your problem starts..devil is a liar and he want to destroy you…please never listen to evil spirit.

  • Susan says:


    How can you say that you are not God’s creation. The fact is that, you are God’s creation. Whether you believe this or not this is true.

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Sorry Rin, I don’t know what you are trying to say. I don’t read Japanese nor can I find a translator that takes transliteration and puts into English. I do see that you claim to be created by some other source than God. What makes you think that?

  • Rin T. Saotome says:

    Sorry…this site doesnt show japanese…..
    ….. Watashi wa chi no tsukidesu.. … Watashi ga kawarini watashi wa satan ga musuko o yobu y?na monoda.. … Shi o manugareta hazu nanida.. … To nan kami wa hangyaku-sha o yobidashiRub? kama… .. Shi no kami…….. Kanashimi… .. Ky?fu. … Zetsub?. … Ky?fu… … … Ky?ki…..Sadisutikku ky?kan… … Watashi wa Rin Takamaru Saotome……. Saikikkuvu~anpaiada! ! ! !

  • Rin T. Saotome says:

    The fact that im not his creation…….and the fact im not entirely existing……thats why…………. …..???????…..???????????????????????…..?????????…..????????????????…..???……..???…..??….??….??………??…..??????????……????????…….????????????!!!!

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Are you telling me that the one who created the Universe is unable to set you free? Is it that you cannot be helped or don’t want to acknowledge that Jesus loves you and died so that you could be set free? The Bible promises that “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old is gone and the new has come.” (2Corinthians 5:17) Jesus can break anything that is holding you captive right now, if you are willing to trust Him to do it.

    What makes you an outsider to God?

  • Rin says:

    I was only joking Jamie……I will never change…people just…they just don’t change, I am an outsider to god and the world………no one can help me now

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    I sense some sarcasm Rin. What has convinced you that God does not love you and cannot help you?

  • Rin T. Saotome says:

    Ive seen the video…….i feel changed!!!!!:-) thanks^^

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    The one who knows who you truly are is the one who made you. Focus your attention on God and He will show you who you really are. Let me know when you have watched the video and tell me what you think, OK?

  • Rin T. Saotome says:

    I already know this……….tell me……..Who Am I really?……….am i Rin….Death…….Kanashimi…..Kyoki?……..i am the moon and blood…..the shadow and scythe……………………….I’am The Second Son..

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Rin, I wish I could give you an answer to why you have been rejected for so long. But I do know God loves you. He has shown you His love for you by sacrificing Himself for you even though you treat Him as an enemy. Jesus death on the cross was for you. He died so that you could be set free from the destructive path that you had chosen for your life. You set up an interesting juxtaposition: God hates – Satan loves. Tell me, who do you spend more time focusing on, God or Satan? From your statement my guess is that you spend more time looking at Satan then you do pursuing God. God created this world with all of its diverse beauty as a place for you to thrive. Satan tries to destroy that beauty. God speaks truth to us so that we can know what is right. Satan uses deceit and bribery to lead us into selfishness. God sacrificed Himself so that we could be free. Satan sacrifices us so that we stay captive.

    Do you want to be set free Rin? Focus your attention on God. Explore the beauty of His love for you. Why don’t you start with watching this video about the life of Jesus http://arc.gt/4pan4 I would love to hear what you think.

    Let me pray for you: Jesus, my friend Rin is hurting deep down in his life. He feels alone, rejected by people and rejected by You. I know that You have not rejected him because You paid the ultimate price for him. I pray that You would show Yourself to Rin and that the lies of Satan would be revealed by the Light of Your Truth. I know that Rin wants to know the Truth so I ask that You would help him to recognize it. As he watches Your story I pray that he would see Your love for him. Amen.

    Rin, once you have watched the video come back here and tell me what you think OK?

  • Rin T. Saotome says:

    ……Hahahahahahaha……DO YOU THINK I HAVENT TRIED GETTING HELP?!?!?!?!?!?!….I HAVE NO PURPOSE IN LIFE….14….FOURTEEN YEARS OF BEING REJECTED AN NEVER HAVING A SOUL TO CARE!!!!!!!!!!!!………so tell me………………why…………..does god hate me………….and why…………Satan Loves Me…….

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi Rin, I am sorry that you have had such a painful time. Feeling like no one sees you or cares about you can be an overwhelming thing. I would like to give you help and support and I will if you let me but at this point, your safety is most important. Please contact a professional counselor right away. You will be surprized at how talking with someone can help give a different perspective on things. I know you want life to be better so I ask you to call and give it chance to turn things around.

    I’ve included some emergency phone lines for you below:
    Dial 911 in Canada and USA
    1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) USA & Canada
    1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) USA-National
    Hearing impaired call 1-800-799-4TTY (1-800-799-4889) USA
    Centerstone(Suicide Crisis Call Center) 1-800-273-TALK (8255) USA

    I am here to come alongside of you, pray with you, listen without judgment, and support and encourage you throughout this very difficult time.

    Suicide is not the answer, getting help is the answer.

    Let me pray for you: Dear Lord, I do pray for Rin and ask that You would help him to feel Your eyes on him right now. There is no one who is outside of Your infinite attention and You are intimately aware of all that Rin has been through and how it has impacted him. I pray that You would help him to make choices that will bring healing and wholeness rather than death. Bring people into his life who will help him know that he is a valued part of this world. Amen.

    Rin I look forward to talking to you but please now would you make that call and talk to someone there?

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