What happens to the soul after suicide?

Written by Lynette Hoy NCC, LCPC

soulsuicideYou are not alone in your struggle with suicidal thoughts.

What 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.

Read Scott’s story of playing Russian Roulette.

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

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

  • Logan Browm says:

    Hey Megan, reading what you wrote made me finally realize someone out there actually feels the way I do. No one needs positive energy or advice. What we want is someone to relate to that pain, and someone who will understand hoe fragile we truly are. My mental state isn’t the best. Who knows what the future brings, but if this ever out lives me, I just want people to know that anything is better than suicide, not of this will be remembered expect by those entities that do exist so live wild. Do what you fest the most. Im lucky every second im not hanging from my ceiling. This is how i survived.

  • Brittany says:

    Carole, you are ignorant. “Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary situation.” That is an inaccurate statement that many ignorant people, looking to become wise, share. Usually, the most clueless share common cliches as “advice”. Repeating other’s words as your own doesn’t make you look any better, and doesn’t make the false words anymore true. Try suffering like those whom you are criticizing and preaching to. Then maybe you would see that the situation is NOT temporary.

  • Sharon says:

    to Megan I am sorry for your pain and wanting to kill yourself. prayer father God whatever is going on with Megan I pray be with her and I pray send people along her path to encourage her. I pray a healing over her in whatever she is needing. I pray all of this in JESUS name amen. I am praying for you. where are you in your faith? do you believe in JESUS? HE is the only person to hang onto. I know life is not easy, it can be a pain usually but if you lean on JESUS I pray that HE can heal you.- sharon

  • Megan says:

    Hi kim. I have not read all of these comments so I’m not sure what brought on the reason for your comment but it is exactly how I feel. I have debated on suicide for years now..I’ve gone to hospitals, counseling, gotten into bad relationships for the sake of not having to feel the pain of loneliness and depression. And only made things worse for myself. But I have two daughters now, twins..So much of me wants to stay for them because I know through my ability to see and understand what other people are thinking and feeling (most of the time) i can help them have a better life than what I’ve had because I can pass that knowledge on..however, at the same time it’s extremely hard to make it through the day a lot of times for various other reasons that are complicated to explain thoroughly on here..and I revert back to wanting to commit suicide. I feel exactly like a person stranded on the top floor of a burning building and don’t know what to do.

  • Carole says:

    Catherine, I am so sorry to hear of your pain and distress and pray that God will give you relief. God bless you!

  • Catherine Scott says:

    I fear AJ is quite ignorant. You try living with a horrible illness for over 20 years. With frequent pain so bad most would go to the ER. With the loss of a child, parents, emotional and physical abuse. And I have sought so much help it could fill a book. I have been an accomplished person even through but wrenching losses and pain. I can rarely wear soft clothing my skin pain is so bad. When I do, I usually cannot hold back the years that automatically poor down my face. I am a solid Christian and believer in Jesus. I’ve had decades of counseling, anti-depressents, supplements, exercise, prayer and on and on. When you say no one knows what happens after suicide That means no one including you. I doubt anyone commits suicide after a bad day. But, I like the reference to King Saul. Thus far, I have not take, my life due to my reverence for God and protecting my lived ones from the grief of such an act. But, that is all.

  • Sharon says:

    to carole– good word carole thank you for sharing the word

  • Carole says:

    Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary situation. You need to seek professional help first. Look up the suicide hotline in your area and call and talk to them. Call your pastor or someone you can trust. Don’t jump from the frying pan to the fire. Jesus loves you unconditionally. Don’t jeopardize your soul. My prayers are with you!

  • Tom Tom says:


    I agree that it seems unlikely that a saved person could kill themselves, but there is precedence in the Bible for that being the case. Note King Saul who, after being badly wounded, took his own life by falling on his sword. (1 Sam. 31). Was King Saul a saved man? According to 1 Samuel 10:1-12 there is good reason to believe he was. Verse 6 says he was “turned into a new man,” and verse 9 says “God gave him a new heart.” Both of these terms are symbolic of being saved by the grace of God. Saul’s actions after that indicate he was a changed man.

    Hopefully neither you or I will ever be faced with such a scenario that we are in such pain or under the influence of prescription drugs that we would come to kill ourselves. At that kind of moment, we might well justify that “being absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.”

    Oh, and will God forgive suicide? He certainly will for the believer. Suicide is simply a form of murder, and murder is just one of the many types of sins Jesus’ blood covers completely. Just ask King David.

  • AJ says:

    Nobody knows what happens to someone who commits suicide(NOBODY)! Committing suicide is essentially slapping Christ in the face and saying you don’t trust he can carry you through what’s left of your life. When Christ died for all sins that “DID NOT” mean to include someone extinguishing their own life because they had a bad day! Now, there are people who develop chemical imbalances and whatnot, but next to denying Christ or telling Jesus you want nothing to do with him, there is no more dangerous game to be played than wantonly ending your own life. None!

  • Tom Tom says:

    It sounds like you’ve had a very difficult life, and I sympathize with you. Life in this sin-sick world is far from easy for most people. But I’m curious about a few things you wrote and was wondering if you would clarify some things. Such as:

    –Why would you not believe in God simply because you’ve had a very difficult life? What does one have to do with the other? What are your expectations of God?

    –You say you have “every reason to doubt God.” What are some of those reasons?

    –Why do you believe that the Bible is only “man-written?” Are you familiar with the evidence that supports it being a supernaturally inspired book, beyond the capabilities of mere humans being the author?

    –You wrote about mankind being selfish, cruel, and judgmental. Why do you suppose that is?

  • Kim says:

    I also wanted to clarify why suicide is not a choice. Imagine yourself being in a skyscraper. The room is burning and you can’t escape. The only way out is a window but you will be probably fall to death if you jump out of it. But you will also probably die from the fire. Some people will jump out of the window, hoping they will survive and not be burned. The solution is not much better but it’s the terror of the flames that make them choose something like that. The same goes for suicide. I tried to commit suicide for the first time heb I was eleven, at fifteen I took 50 pills of antidepressants in combination with alcohol. I was uderweight. I didn’t die and I fought for my life because it felt like I was dying, but I realised I didn’t want to die I just wanted to be at peace and be able to be happy instead of living in fear. At this point I had 7 years of therapy but they were never able to help because they could diagnose me properly. They did now, 2 years later. The suicide attempt gave me strength to fight for myself, I grew as a person but people still feel like my life is the law of Murphy. It actually is. Everything goes wrong, usually all at once. People usually at first think I’m overreacting but then they see the truth for themselves. People tell me they feel this energy around me like I’m destined to use my pain and insight to help children that are going through a childhood (an adulthood/adolescention) like I went/am going through. That’s my only current reason for staying alive. I know I am able to help because I already helped a lot of people but how am I supposed to help others but no one is able to help me? Do people realise how lonely it is to feel what others are thinking, needing? I can read and feel people and I know where the hurt is and I know how to help (not all the time though) but it’s really lonely when you’re the person that knows how to help anyone including yourself, knowing that you understand a lot of people and their pain but there is no one that really understand you. No one that knows how to make me feel safe, to touch me where it hurts but caress it to make it feel better. How can it be a sin if you are good at heart but live a life so full of pain and loneliness? Do people ever notice that the good hearted and the intelligent are usually the ones with the most pain and the most depressive? We see what others close their eyes for. Not everybody will be able to see because some grew up in a really stable family with a stable life and a stable view of the world. But when the opposite is shown who are those with a stable to judge the ones living in pain? We are strong. We are usually realists. Some of us can see the good in the world but also see the majority of bad. Open your eyes. Be aware of the hurt but never say loving or wanting to leave the physical body for continually experiencing pain is a sin. It’s cruel.

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