For one thing, I think you’re expecting these people to be logical. They’re grieving—the death is fresh.
For another, there’s a potential guilt angle. If the person did suicide, maybe they’re still convincing themselves that it wasn’t. But they know it was. Sort of. Well, why print it until/unless you’re sure?
I was writing a term paper many years ago and consulted a geneticist. He told me that family histories are hard to trace sometimes. Even these days some people won’t talk about a family member who died of something like cancer, because they think it’s a curse from God and the deceased must have been a bad person etc.
I get it. I’ve lost classmates at a youngish age and if the survivors don’t want to go into detail that’s fine. Thanks for letting me know about the passing, though.
True story: I went to school with a guy who committed suicide. He was quiet, very nice kid. He was always interested in cars. I was never really friends with him exactly but always thought he was a good guy.
I was talking to my sis (who still lives in my hometown). She said one day, he was outside mowing the lawn…in a woman’s dress. So apparently in private he was a cross-dresser. The local bubbas got hold of this info, teased him relentlessly, and in a small town you can guess the rest.
My point is that some people wisely head it off at the pass.
Did he commit suicide?
People were teasing him.
He was different.
Etc. Why give an inch?