My older brother died 24 years ago when I was 29. He was 34, was married, and had one son. He had bipolar disorder and had a severe depressive episode. It was a complicated situation involving family dynamics as well. I still think about him often. I remember him carrying me to the car when I was about 7 as we were about to go on vacation and leaving early in the morning. The day he died, I was working out at the YMCA, I was unemployed at the time. All of a sudden, I felt all the energy drain from my body. I told myself I would come back to the gym another day and went home. A few hours later my mother called me and told me Jack was dead. I was beside myself; I called my friends, mostly from recovery groups and they accompanied me when I went to my mother's house to find out what had happened. It took many years of therapy and grieving to heal from a very deep wound. Today my nephew is married and has twin daughters nearly two years old. I visit when their schedule permits--he and his wife are quite busy and seem to be a good team as parents. I have spent some time with him, telling him stories of his father that no one else in my family knew.
I dated a man in 2000-2001. It was a volatile relationship. He was a medical scientist, quite brilliant, but very angry. The sex was the best I ever had in a relationship and we slept well together, frequently waking in one another's arms. It was the daytime that didn't work well. After we broke up, I saw him briefly only once I think. 8 years later, he hung himself from a tree in a park as best I can tell. I didn't know why. It was in the local papers and TV news that he had gone missing. He had was last seen at Home Depot purchasing rope and a ladder. He was in a relationship at the time. I was very saddened by the news, but it wasn't traumatic for me because of the time that had passed since we were together. I'm well acquainted with suicide.
Last year I went to a high school reunion, my 35th. I found out that a classmate had killed himself a number of years back. I don't know the details. He was someone I didn't know well, but I saw him in a gay bar about 10 years after we graduated; I was glad to see him. I said hello to him, but he seemed nervous. He excused himself and went to the bathroom and I never saw him again. Yes, I'm well acquainted with suicide. I don't need to say more in that regard.
I don't know why the poster started the thread, but I know a little bit about why I responded. There are very few people who know about this facet of my life, some are straight men, some are gay men. I have a need for community, to be touched by other's stories of loss and to have others read my stories. This has affected my work. After many years of my own efforts to address these losses, I assist others who are thinking of suicide or have others in their life who have suicided. I am able to tell them that I am familiar with suicide and that I am not afraid of anything they have to tell me. Without telling them anything about my own experience, I believe that many are comforted by this and are able to speak of their experience. My losses are now my assets and are no longer liabilities.