I recently read an article about active suicidal ideation vs passive suicidal ideation. Passive suicidal ideation is when someone has thoughts and ideas about suicide, but no real tangible plan for carrying it out.
They may be hoping to die in an accident of some sort, die in their sleep, or by an illness, and not necessarily directly by their own hand.
They just know, for various reasons, they would rather not be alive. Active suicidal ideation is when someone has constant thoughts about suicide and has a plan to carry it out.