Recommended Reading – These are books that have proven to be helpful to members of our various support groups. We hope you will find one or more of them helpful for you on your healing journey too.
In the Wake of Suicide: Stories of Those Left Behind by Victoria Alexander
Breathtaking stories of incredible power for anyone struggling to find the meaning in the suicidal death of a loved one, and for all readers seeking writing that moves and inspires.
After author Victoria Alexander’s mother took her life, she spent the next ten years collecting stories from people, like herself, who have walked through one of life’s most difficult journeys. The result is a beautifully written book of powerful, spellbinding stories told by those who were left behind–parents, children, spouses, lovers, friends, and colleagues. In the Wake of Suicide offers survivors the understanding, compassion, and hope they need to guide them on their own path in the wake of this most painful loss.
Finding Peace Without All the Pieces: After A Loved One’s Suicide by LaRita Archibald
A very informative book that provides suicide survivors with insight into the various emotional responses they may be experiencing after their loss. The author shares her personal experience of the suicide death of her son and the insights gained by helping hundreds of families for over three decades.
Life After Suicide: The Survivor’s Grief Experience by Terence Barrett
Life After Suicide provides a clear and sensitive description of the experience of survivors after suicidal death: of their struggles to deal with suicide and incorporate it into their own personal life histories, and of their efforts to reconstruct their lives in its aftermath. The material is based on suicide survivorship literature and on interviews of survivors of suicide, accident, homicide, and natural death bereavements. The impact of suicide, as in any death, most assuredly varies depending on the type and closeness of the relationship lost. Fathers and mothers, husbands and wives, daughters and sons, sisters and brothers, and “just” friends and lovers have been affected by suicide. Although the impact of suicide is greatly determined by the closeness of the relationship that had been formed with the decedent, no one associated with this form of death can escape its effects, regardless of distance from the deceased. Suicide touches something deep in the core of our humanness, and we can, none of us, be neutral to its occurrence. Life After Suicide provides insight into suicide survivorship, not only for those who experience, first-hand, another person’s self-destructive act but also for those who interact with the survivors in the aftermath of the death. This book has found its place on the shelves with the most helpful books about the special grief reactions survivors experience after the death of a loved one by suicide. It is important reading for survivors, family members, professional helpers, and friends.
After Suicide Loss: Coping with Your Grief by Bob Baugher & Jack Jordan
A practical guide for coping with suicide, from the first few days through the first year and beyond. From a reader: it addresses almost every possible question one could have after such a terrible loss. It gives succinct answers, does not moralize, and gives lists of additional helpful resources.
History of a Suicide: My Sister’s Unfinished Life by Jill Bialosky
The unexpected loss of a sibling is always shattering, but when suicide is that cause grief is rendered more complicated and haunting. The death of novelist, poet, and editor Bialosky’s much younger sister, Kim, at age 21 in 1990 was one grim loss among many.
On the night of April 15, 1990, Jill Bialosky’s twenty-one-year-old sister Kim came home from a bar in downtown Cleveland. She argued with her boyfriend on the phone. Then she took her mother’s car keys, went into the garage, closed the garage door. She climbed into the car, turned on the ignition, and fell asleep. Her body was found the next morning by the neighborhood boy her mother hired to cut the grass.
Those are the simple facts, but the act of suicide is anything but simple. For twenty years, Bialosky has lived with the grief, guilt, questions, and confusion unleashed by Kim’s suicide. Now, in a remarkable work of literary nonfiction, she re-creates with unsparing honesty her sister’s inner life, the events and emotions that led her to take her life on this particular night. In doing so, she opens a window on the nature of suicide itself, our own reactions and responses to it—especially the impact a suicide has on those who remain behind.
Combining Kim’s diaries with family history and memoir, drawing on the works of doctors and psychologists as well as writers from Melville and Dickinson to Sylvia Plath and Wallace Stevens, Bialosky gives us a stunning exploration of human fragility and strength. She juxtaposes the story of Kim’s death with the challenges of becoming a mother and her own exuberant experience of raising a son. This is a book that explores all aspects of our familial relationships—between mothers and sons, fathers and daughters—but particularly the tender and enduring bonds between sisters.
Figuring Sh!t Out: Love, Laughter, Suicide and Survival by Amy Biancolli
Shockingly single. Amy Biancolli’s life went off-script more dramatically than most after her husband of twenty years jumped off the roof of a parking garage. Left with three children, a three-story house, and a pile of knotty psychological complications, Amy realizes the flooding dishwasher, dead car battery, rapidly growing lawn, basement sump pump, and broken doorknob aren’t going to fix themselves. She also realizes that “figuring shit out” means accepting the horrors that came her way, rolling with them, slogging through them, helping others through theirs, and working her way through life with love and laughter.
Help and hope for an unexpected journey do real Christians commit suicide? Yes, they do. And for those left behind, the journey following such a tragedy is unbearably painful. Finding Your Way after the Suicide of Someone You Love is a compassionate and practical guide that addresses the intensely personal issues of survivors of suicide (SOS). This gentle and faith-affirming resource helps survivors know what to expect, especially during the first year following a suicide. It includes personal stories of survivors and suggestions on how to move beyond survival to live life again. Designed for use by individuals, couples, and SOS groups, this book offers help for parents, siblings, friends, and extended families, as well as practical guidelines for pastors, Christian counselors, and other church leaders. Topics include: • What to do in the immediate aftermath of a suicide • Handling guilt and understanding the role of depression in suicides • Dealing with questions of faith and meaning • Creating a support system • Choosing a Christian therapist • Trusted resources and websites
Mourning After Suicide (Looking Up) by Lois Bloom
A short, concise booklet with ideas for coping after a suicide death.
My Son . . . My Son . . .: A Guide to Healing After Death, Loss, or Suicide by Iris Bolton and Curtis Mitchell
At the bottom, life and death are our greatest teachers–if we shall but listen. Iris Bolton’s personal story of her son’s suicide is a deeply moving, poignant one. It is a story of both a devastating tragedy and an exquisite triumph–and the agonizing, relentless, conflicted process connecting these two oppositional pulls.
Those They Left Behind: Interviews, Stories, Essays and Poems by Survivors of Suicide by Karen Mueller Bryson
In this collection of interviews with survivors of suicide, individuals talk candidly and intimately about how their lives have been impacted by the suicide of a family member or close friend. Over 50 individuals were willing to share their personal tragedies as a way of helping others who face a similar loss as well as educating the public about the issues survivors of suicide face. Their willingness to share their stories is a testament to their endurance and strength in the face of adversity.
My New Normal: Surviving Suicide Loss by Anna Cambria
It is hard to tell which was more devastating: finding out about Dad’s first suicide attempt or his death shortly thereafter. I didn’t have time to reflect on his unexpected attempt when Mom and I learned about secrets he had been hiding over the past year. His dream business became a living nightmare, creating debts and unimaginable stress that we were previously unaware of. Life became hell. I feared his next attempt would only be a matter of time.
What About the Big Stuff? by Richard Carlson
Richard Carlson’s bestselling Don’t Sweat series has shown countless families, lovers, and workers how not to sweat the small stuff. Now, in his soothing and wise trademark tone, Carlson takes a different approach and discusses life’s bigger issues, including dealing with the death of a loved one; how divorce affects your family and friends; confronting illness, whether in yourself or others; and managing difficult financial situations. In chapters such as ‘Bouncing Back from Divorce,’ ‘Finding Life After Death,’ and ‘Feel Free to Grieve,’ Carlson offers healing insight and heartfelt advice on how to find inner peace and strength to deal with the big stuff.
Suicide Survivors’ Handbook – Expanded Edition by Trudy Carlson
Based on personal experience and extensive grief research, this practical compendium is filled with frank advice for fellow survivors. Dealing with the three major survivors’ issues (the question “Why?”, anger over the event, and guilt) the book gives a description of typical patterns in the grief process and offers helpful steps to recovery. Chapters include dealing with others, handling holidays, and the effects of death and tragedy on the family unit. Of special interest is a portion of one chapter devoted to grief issues of surviving children.
Dying to Be Free: A Healing Guide for Families After a Suicide by Beverly Cobain and Jean Larch
Excellent healing guide for survivors of suicide. Recognizing that grief work is personal and unique in each individual, this book is recommended as a beacon of hope and understanding to those who have suffered the pain and loss of a loved one to suicide.
Sanity and Grace: A Journey of Suicide by Survival and Strength by Judy Collins
Sanity & Grace speaks to all who have endured the sorrow of losing a loved one. In the depths of her suffering, Collins found relief by reaching out to others for help and support. Now she extends her hand to comfort other survivors whose lives have been affected by similar tragedy. Honest and inspiring, this story will not only interest Collins’s followers but will also help soothe and heal those wounded by suicide and depression.
Guiding Your Child Through Grief by James P. Emswiler and Mary Ann Emswiler
Backed by the latest research in child psychology and filled with case histories, this title answers questions that parents and caregivers need to ask, such as: Is it normal for a child to act as if nothing has happened? Is an infant too little to understand the loss of a parent? Do children blame themselves for the death of a family member? Should I worry about a child committing suicide after a death in the family?
The author shares her own journey of grief following the suicide death of her husband. She also integrates the voices of others who have endured the loss of a loved one to suicide. [Trigger warning: This book has very real (plainly spoken and sometimes vividly described) descriptions of people’s loved one’s deaths and outdated language regarding suicide.]
The Grieving Child: A Parent’s Guide by Helen Fitzgerald
Explaining death to a child is one of the most difficult tasks a parent or other relative can face. The Grieving Child offers practical, compassionate advice for helping a child cope with the death of a parent or other loved one.
Bart Speaks Out: Breaking the Silence on Suicide by Johnathan P. Goldman & Linda E. Goldman
Bart, a white terrier, narrates his story to losing Charlie to suicide. A workbook for young children to journal their feelings about the loss of a loved one to suicide, this is an ideal book to use with a parent or counselor who can assist the child in filling in the pages.
Living When a Young Friend Commits Suicide by Earl A Grollman & Max Malikow
In the last thirty years, the suicide rate among young people has tripled. In this book addressed to the young survivors of this epidemic, Earl A. Grollman, the internationally known lecturer, writer, and grief counselor, and Max Malikow, a psychotherapist and pastoral counselor offer solace and guidance to adolescents who are confronted with someone of their own age who is contemplating or has committed suicide.
In Surviving Suicide, you read about a woman whose mother, husband, and son all took their own lives. You read the story of a terminally ill woman’s suicide. You can almost hear the words of a little girl whose father put a gun to his head. The stories are heartbreaking, but Surviving Suicide offers hope. All around you, there are bits of this hope, in the inspiration from those who have been where you are. Days after her fiancé’s suicide, award-winning journalist Heather Hays was back on television, hiding her pain from her viewers and herself. She is no longer hiding. In this book, Heather shares life-changing stories from people around the world who have also been left behind. Through them, you will learn lessons on love and loss to help guide you on your journey.
A Message of Hope: For Surviving the Tragedy of Suicide by Patricia Harness-Overley
From the founder of Hope After Suicide, a self-help organization for those who have lost a loved one to suicide.
After Suicide by John Hewett
This constructive guide offers much-needed information and clinically tested advice for those struggling to cope in the aftermath of a suicide. Written in clear language, this book presents the facts and demonstrates how to deal with feelings of guilt, anger, bewilderment, and shame. Also included is an anniversary memorial service that enables family members to recommit themselves to life.
Night Falls Fast by Kay Redfield Jamison
In Night Falls Fast, Jamison presents and interprets the most influential scientific studies on the causes, methods, and effects of suicide, juxtaposing them with the intimate writings of the mentally ill and the experiences of their loved ones to create a comprehensive and enlightening view of a crisis of epidemic proportions–a crisis that is increasingly taking its toll upon the young. With an essayist’s grace and a clinician’s insight, Jamison has produced an illuminating and necessary book on one of the public health’s most urgent challenges.
Myths About Suicide by Thomas Joiner
Around the world, more than a million people die by suicide each year. Yet many of us know very little about a tragedy that may strike our own loved ones―and much of what we think we know is wrong. This clear and powerful book dismantles myth after myth to bring a compassionate and accurate understanding of a massive international killer.
Why People Die by Suicide by Thomas Joiner
In the wake of suicide, the most troubling questions are invariably the most difficult to answer: How could we have known? What could we have done? And always, unremittingly: Why? Written by a clinical psychologist whose own life has been touched by suicide, this book offers the clearest account ever given of why some people choose to die.
Drawing on extensive clinical and epidemiological evidence, as well as personal experience, Thomas Joiner brings a comprehensive understanding of seemingly incomprehensible behavior. Among the many people who have considered, attempted, or died by suicide, he finds three factors that mark those most at risk of death: the feeling of being a burden on loved ones; the sense of isolation; and, chillingly, the learned ability to hurt oneself. Joiner tests his theory against diverse facts taken from clinical anecdotes, history, literature, popular culture, anthropology, epidemiology, genetics, and neurobiology–facts about suicide rates among men and women; white and African-American men; anorexics, athletes, prostitutes, and physicians; members of cults, sports fans, and citizens of nations in crisis.
The result is the most coherent and persuasive explanation ever given of why and how people overcome life’s strongest instinct, self-preservation. Joiner’s is a work that makes sense of the bewildering array of statistics and stories surrounding suicidal behavior; at the same time, it offers insight, guidance, and the essential information to clinicians, scientists, and health practitioners, and to anyone whose life has been affected by suicide.
Trying to Remember; Forced to Forget (My Father’s Suicide) by Judy R Kletter
From the author: January 1948, at four, I discovered my father’s dead body hanging over the toilet. As a result-and, my mother trying to convince me it was just a dream-I was institutionalized until I had to be hospitalized. Fifty-two years later, I’m finally able to write about my life as a survivor.
When Bad Things Happen to Good People by Harold Kushner
When Harold Kushner’s three-year-old son was diagnosed with a degenerative disease that meant the boy would only live until his early teens, he was faced with one of life’s most difficult questions: Why, God? Years later, Rabbi Kushner wrote this straightforward, elegant contemplation of the doubts and fears that arise when tragedy strikes. In these pages, Kushner shares his wisdom as a rabbi, a parent, a reader, and a human being. Often imitated but never superseded, When Bad Things Happen to Good People is a classic that offers clear thinking and consolation in times of sorrow.
Free to Dance, A Suicide Survivor’s Memoir by Ca-Asia A. Lane
Death by suicide is a serious topic that is rarely discussed. It is the tenth leading cause of death for adults in the United States and the second cause of death for children under the age of eighteen. For every suicide death, countless survivors are left traumatized, accompanied by grief and the heavyweight of emotional pain. Ca-Asia knows the shock, despair, confusion, and depression marked by suicide’s aftermath. The words spilled across these pages journey how God healed her fragile heart and mind back together again after her husband’s death by suicide. Her story is a gift of encouragement for this who struggles with the loss of a loved one and tread along a similar path. In the midst of inexplicable heartache and adversity, her testimony reveals how she was literally able to dance and praise at her Master’s feet for healing, hope, and ultimately her freedom.
Unfinished Conversation: Healing from Suicide and Loss — A Guided Journey by Robert E. Lesoine and Marilynne Chopel
Unfinished Conversation is a story of profound grief and the journey to healing that followed. Based on a journal Robert Lesoine kept during the two years following the suicide of his best friend, Unfinished Conversations will help readers through the process of reflecting on and affirming the raw immediacy of survivors’ emotions. Each short chapter focuses on a different aspect of the author’s experience as he transforms his anger and guilt to understanding and forgiveness.
Licensed psychotherapist Marilynne Chöphel brings her professional background to Robert Lesoine’s deeply personal story to create an accessible path to self-directed healing based on mindful awareness and sound clinical practices. Readers work through their own grieving and healing process with end-of-chapter exercises and activities. An appendix and website, unfinishedconversation.com, provide additional resources to survivors.
The tools and techniques in Unfinished Conversations will help readers release past trauma, honor their relationship with their lost loved ones, and find greater perspective, meaning, and well-being in their lives.
A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis
Written after his wife’s tragic death as a way of surviving the “mad midnight moment,” A Grief Observed is C.S. Lewis’s honest reflection on the fundamental issues of life, death, and faith in the midst of loss. This work contains his concise, genuine reflections on that period: “Nothing will shake a man — or at any rate a man like me — out of his merely verbal thinking and his merely notional beliefs. He has to be knocked silly before he comes to his senses. Only torture will bring out the truth. Only under torture does he discover it himself.” This is a beautiful and unflinchingly honest record of how even a stalwart believer can lose all sense of meaning in the universe, and how he can gradually regain his bearings.
The Gift of Second: Healing from the Impact of Suicide by Brandy Lidbeck
After a suicide, loved ones painfully struggle to make sense of the unexplainable tragedy. The Gift of Second comes alongside loss survivors and helps navigate the common pitfalls for those left behind. It offers hope and encouragement to guide survivors through this desperate time. In The Gift of Second, you will: -Explore the ins and outs of grief and trauma -Release the guilt and shame survivors carry -Recognize how to take care of yourself -Gain practical tips for enduring the first year -Discover what helps other survivors -Determine when to seek professional help -Stop replaying the past and blaming yourself -START healing in a healthy way
Healing the Hurt Spirit: Daily Affirmations for People Who Have Lost a Loved One to Suicide by Catherine Greenleaf
A unique book consisting of 365 daily affirmations, Greenleaf draws from her personal experience as a survivor as well as professional experience in death education. Each day consists of a topic-specific to survivors, along with a related book for meditational purposes. This is an inspirational and meaningful book for survivors.
A Winding Road: A Handbook for Those Supporting the Suicide Bereaved by Michelle Linn-Gust and John Peters
“This book is a book of caregiving for caregivers. It is written and edited by caregivers who have walked the walk as both those who work with those bereaved by suicide and gathered an octet of guest authors individually and collectively offer a wealth of relevant experience to the reader. All told, the quilt they have woven for you is warm, comforting, and replete with enriched patterns of perspective and information that are enormously helpful to those who work with those bereaved by suicide.” Lanny Berman, Ph.D., ABPP
Do They Have Bad Days in Heaven? Surviving the Suicide Loss of a Sibling by Michelle Linn-Gust
The first comprehensive resource for sibling suicide survivors. The author takes the reader through the personal experiences of losing her younger sister and weaves in the available research for sibling survivors. She explains suicide, the grief process, and how sibling death impacts the brothers and sisters left behind and offers practical advice for surviving the loss of a sibling to suicide.
Rocky Roads: The Journeys of Families through Suicide Grief by Michelle Linn-Gust
The grief journey following a suicide loss is not a quick and easy path. Because people are unique, as are the life experiences of individuals, the road can open up in several ways for each person. No one travels the same way. In Rocky Roads: The Journeys of Families through Suicide Grief, Michelle Linn-Gust, the author of Do They Have Bad Days in Heaven? Surviving the Suicide Loss of a Sibling guides the family unit with a road map to navigate suicide grief as individuals and also as part of the family unit with the ultimate goal of strengthening the family even after a devastating suicide loss.
Blue Genes: A Memoir of Loss and Survival by Christopher Lukas
Christopher Lukas authored this book eleven years after the suicide of his brother, Tony, a two-time Pulitzer-winner. Tony, who was being treated for depression, ended his life in 1997. Christopher Lukas, himself a writer-producer-director in television, wrote this book in the hope of coming to an understanding of his relationship with his brother with whom he had difficulty finding “common ground.”
Silent Grief: Living in the Wake of Suicide by Christopher Lukas and Henry M. Seiden
This book gives insights into the pain and suffering involved when people are grieving for someone who has committed suicide, but it also offers hope without diminishing the significance of the suffering involved. As such, it has a lot to offer and is, therefore, to be welcomed.
Why Suicide: Questions & Answers about Suicide by Eric Marcus
In a completely revised and updated edition of the landmark original WHY SUICIDE?, Eric Marcus offers thoughtful answers to scores of questions about this complex, painful issue from how to recognize the signs of someone who is suicidal to strategies for coping in the aftermath of a loved one’s death. Drawing from his own experience, as well as interviews with people who have been touched by suicide, Eric Marcus cuts through the veil of silence and misunderstanding to bring clarity, reassurance, and comfort to those who so desperately need it.
A Suicide Note of Hope: More Than A Memoir by Hank McGovern
In A Suicide Note of Hope, I document an adventurous and traumatic memoir characterized by empowerment, inspiration, transformation, and humor. In “Goodbye”, I begin the note and describe the precipitator, a bogus charge of sexual harassment made against me that was published in the Washington Post. In “Early Years: Chaos, Trauma, and Adventure”, I describe a childhood fraught with pain, beginning at age 3 when my mother “fell” down the steps, broke her neck and died. Subsequently, I had repeated rejections, being moved around so often that I lived in 10 different homes with that many sets of parental figures.
An Empty Chair: Living in the Wake of a Sibling’s Suicide by Sara Swan Miller
The accounts of siblings’ experiences in this book are based on interviews with more than thirty people from all over the United States, as well as the author’s own experience of losing a sister to suicide. Just as sibling relationships are varied and complex, so the feelings and experiences of sibling suicide survivors run a long and complex gamut from deep grief, to anger, to guilt, to relief. Often these feelings are intermixed. The survivors are often bewildered by the complexity of their feelings, including reactions that may seem shameful or inappropriate. These moving accounts will help other sibling survivors of sibling suicide see that they are not alone.
Touched by Suicide: Hope and Healing After Loss by Michael Myers & Carla Fine
Whether you are struggling with fresh grief at a loved one’s death by suicide or your loss happened years ago, you should know that you are not alone. 5 million Americans are affected—directly or indirectly—by this tragedy each year. And it sends us on a lifelong search for answers, both to the practical questions and the deepest question of all: Why? In this definitive guide book, Michael F. Myers, MD, a leading psychiatrist, and Carla Fine, author of the acclaimed No Time to Say Goodbye: Surviving the Suicide of a Loved One, combine their perspectives as a physician and a survivor to offer compassionate and practical advice to anyone affected by suicide.
Letting Go with Love: The Grieving Process by Nancy O’Connor
This guidebook to healing the loss of a loved one is applauded for the compassionate delivery of healing grief for different relationships from deaths and loss. Through dealing with personal losses Dr. O’Connor guides the reader through the troubled waters and offers hope for going on with life after loss. It is significant for every family member and person affected. Endorsed by Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, it is the only book that deals with the significance of the relationship and separates personal losses accordingly.
Too Soon to Say Goodbye: Healing and Hope for Victims and Survivors of Suicide by Susan Titus Osborn, Karen L. Kosman, and Jeenie Gordon
Too Soon to Say Goodbye offers a renewal of courage and faith for families and friends grieving the loss of a loved one to suicide. Written by three women all uniquely affected by suicide, the book explores the aftermath from a wide range of true stories. Based on the hope found in God’s Word, Too Soon to Say Goodbye offers specially selected Scripture passages and Bible stories that demonstrate God’s love and compassion in times of sorrow. Pastors, family therapists, and grief support groups will also find Too Soon to Say Goodbye an indispensable resource.
Understanding Suicide, Supporting Children by Christine Moutier
For anyone who has ever doubted the capacity of children to integrate the experience of a loved one’s suicide, “Understanding Suicide: Supporting Children” offers powerful, moving, and reassuring testimony that this is exactly what they’re capable of when their experiences and feelings are addressed openly and honestly in an age-appropriate manner. Whether you’re a clinician, parent, or a teacher faced with a child who is dealing with a loved one’s suicide, this film provides us with a compelling message of hope and healing: supporting a child or adolescent through their healing journey will help us all stretch and grow while we play an important role in reducing the increased risk of suicide for the most vulnerable suicide loss survivors.
Hope After Suicide: One Woman’s Journey from Darkness to Light by Wendy Parmley
After her mother took her own life, Wendy Parmley learned firsthand the heartache, despair, and loneliness that accompanies losing a loved one to suicide. At one point she even contemplated taking her own life as well. In this uplifting true narrative, you too can discover how to forgive yourself and others; open your heart; seek help when you need it, and draw closer to the divine. Embrace the light and learn how to heal your soul and overcome loss as you read this touching and tender account of a woman opening her heart years after her mother’s suicide.
How to Go On Living When Someone You Know Dies by Therese A. Rando
Mourning the death of a loved one is a process all of us will go through at one time or another. But wherever the death is sudden or anticipated, few of us are prepared for it or for the grief it brings. There is no right or wrong way to grieve; each person’s response to loss will be different. Now, in this compassionate, comprehensive guide, Therese A. Rando, Ph.D., bereavement specialist and author of Loss And Anticipatory Grief, leads you gently through the painful but necessary process of grieving and helps you find the best way for yourself.
After a Parent’s Suicide: Helping Children Heal by Margo Requarth
Dear Mallory: Letters to a Teenage Girl Who Killed Herself by Lisa Richards
This book can help teens and adults who suffer, because it encourages people to look beyond their immediate pain to future possibilities, including the potential that exists in current loving relationships which too often can be overlooked. It can help the parents of troubled teens, and those who’ve lost loved ones to suicide because it offers valuable insights and wisdom in a personal, straightforward manner.
Survivors of Suicide by Rita Robinson
Mainly for counselors and helpers to those who are suicidal, this book explains the myths of suicide, those who are prone to suicide, and how to help the suicidal and survivors of suicide loss.
after suicide: a ray of hope for those left behind by Eleanora Betsy Ross
Beginning with her own story of coping with her husband’s suicide, Eleanora Betsy Ross takes the reader beyond the silence and shame often associated with suicide and shatters some of the most pervasive myths surrounding this common tragedy. By examining the dynamics of after-suicide bereavement and using dozens of real-life case histories, After Suicide offers hope for the survivors and helps them maintain their sanity and poise during this most difficult time. Backed by years of research and the author’s extensive work with survivors and support groups, this book is a valuable guide to coping with suicide for both survivors and those who work with them. Capped by a comprehensive resource guide, After Suicide stands as an important resource for anyone who has to deal with this loss.
But I Didn’t Say Goodbye by Barbara Rubel
This hands-on book benefits those who want to learn how to help a child after a sudden loss. The power of this book comes from the most frequently asked questions a bereaved child asks, and the honest, respectful, age-appropriate answers from caring adults. Caregivers get intervention strategies, complete with bereavement referrals, and up-to-date recommended resources. Adults get a head start by the ready-to-copy, interactive, non-threatening questions and activities wherein the child’s thoughts and feelings are shared.
Autopsy of a Suicidal Mind by Edwin Shneidman
Autopsy of a Suicidal Mind is a uniquely intensive psychological analysis of a suicidal mind. In this poignant scientific study, Edwin S. Shneidman, a founder of the field of suicidology, assembles an extraordinary cast of eight renowned experts to analyze the suicidal materials, including a ten-page suicide note, given to him by a distraught mother looking for insights into her son’s tragic death. The psychological autopsy centers on the interviews conducted by Shneidman with Arthur’s mother, father, brother, sister, best friend, ex-wife, girlfriend, psychotherapist, and attending physician.
This book is the first of its kind and a remarkable contribution to the study of suicide. Mental health professionals, students of human nature, and persons whose lives have been touched by this merciless topic will be mesmerized and enlightened by this unique volume. An epistemological tour de force, it will speak to anyone who is concerned with human self-destruction.
Grieving a Suicide by Albert Shu
Healing After the Suicide of a Loved One by Ann Smolin and John Guinan
Too often people suffering the aftermath of a suicide suffer alone. As the survivor of a person who has ended his or her own life, you are left a painful legacy — and not one that you chose. Healing After the Suicide of a Loved One will help you take the first steps toward healing. While each individual becomes a suicide survivor in his or her own way, there are predictable phases of pain that most survivors experience sooner or later, from the grief and depression of mourning to guilt, rage, and despair over what you have lost.
You may be torturing yourself with repetitive questions such as “What if…?” “Why didn’t we…?” and “Why, why, why?” Healing After the Suicide of a Loved One will steer you away from this all-too-common tendency to blame yourself and will put you on the path to healing and recovery. Remember, your wounds can heal and you can recover. Filled with case studies, excellent information, and valuable advice, this book will give you the strength and hope to go on living.
Before Their Time: Adult Children’s Experiences of Parental Suicide by Mary Stimming and Maureen Stimming
Before Their Time is the first work to present adult children survivors accounts of their loss, grief, and resolution following a parent’s suicide. In one section, the book offers the perspective of sons and daughters on the deaths of mothers, in another, the perspective of sons and daughters on the death of fathers. In a third section, four siblings reflect on the shared loss of their mother. Topics such as the impact of the parent’s suicide on adult children’s personal and professional choices, marriages and parenting, sibling and surviving parent relationships are explored with sensitivity and insight. Various coping skills, including humor, are described.
His Bright Light: The Story of Nick Traina by Danielle Steele
At once a loving legacy and an unsparing depiction of a devastating illness, Danielle Steel’s tribute to her lost son is a gift of hope, healing, and understanding to us all.
Living Through Personal Crisis by Ann Kaiser Sterns and Thomas Moore
This book is about the small and large losses that happen to people, experiences that plunge them into a state of adjustment. It guides those moving through the mourning process and those who are struggling with depression and other symptoms of distress as they start to realize that they are grieving their loss. It is also for the families and friends of those who have suffered a loss.
The kinds of losses discussed include deaths and divorces; injuries to oneself and others; loss of jobs, health, and security from the economy, accidents, terrorist acts, or on the battlefield. The book guides its readers through the healing process, through the hurts, through the depression, through the anger and blame, back to the hope of a fulfilling life.
The Courage to Grieve by Judy Tatelbaum
This unusual self-help book about surviving grief offers the reader comfort and inspiration. Each of us will face some loss, sorrow, and disappointment in our lives, and The Courage to Grieve provides the specific help we need to enable us to face our grief fully and to recover and grow from the experience. Although the book emphasizes the response to the death of a loved one, The Courage to Grieve can help with every kind of loss and grief.
The Suicide Index: Putting My Father’s Death in Order by Joan Wickersham
When you kill yourself, you kill every memory everyone has of you. You’re saying “I’m gone and you can’t even be sure who it is that’s gone because you never knew me.”
Sixteen years ago, Joan Wickersham’s father shot himself in the head. The father she loved would never have killed himself, and yet he had. His death made a mystery of his entire life. Using an index—that most formal and orderly of structures—Wickersham explores this chaotic and incomprehensible reality. Every bit of family history—marriage, parents, business failures—and every encounter with friends, doctors, and other survivors exposes another facet of elusive truth. Dark, funny, sad, and gripping, at once a philosophical and deeply personal exploration, The Suicide Index is, finally, a daughter’s anguished, loving elegy to her father.
Helpful for families with children ages 6 to 12.
This book provides ideas and action-oriented tips (for children 6-12) that teach the basic principles of grief and healing. These ideas and activities are aimed at reducing the confusion, anxiety, and huge personal void so that the living can begin their lives again. Included in the book are age-appropriate activities that teach kids 6-12 who have lost a loved one that their thoughts are not only normal but necessary.
Helpful for families with teens ages 12-17.
This book provides ideas and action-oriented tips (for youth 12 – 17) that teach the basic principles of grief and healing. These ideas and activities are aimed at reducing the confusion, anxiety, and huge personal void so that the living can begin their lives again. Included in the book are age-appropriate activities that teach youth ages 12-17 who have lost a loved one that their thoughts are not only normal but necessary.
The Wilderness of Grief: Finding Your Way by Alan D. Wolfelt
Based on the author’s previous guides to a 10-touchstone method of grief therapy, this book takes an inspirational approach to the material, presenting the idea of wilderness as a sustained metaphor for grief—and likening the death of a loved one to the experience of being wrenched from normal life and dropped down in the middle of nowhere. Feeling lost and afraid in this uncharted territory, people are initially overwhelmed, the book explains, but they begin to make their way through the new landscape by searching for trail markers—or touchstones—until they emerge as intrepid travelers climbing up out of despair. The touchstones for each step are described in short chapters such as “Embrace the Uniqueness of Your Loss,” “Recognize You Are Not Crazy,” and “Appreciate Your Transformation.”
The Suicide of a Child by Adina Wrobleski
For parents whose child has completed suicide. Goes into detail about victimization, social stigma, guilt, anger, history, and recovery. “The main thing for you to remember is: You are not to blame for the death of your child. The decision for death has to belong to your child, not you.”
Suicide: Why? by Adina Wrobleski
85 questions and answers about suicide
Voices of Strength: Sons and Daughters of Suicide Speak Out by Judy Zionts Fox and Mia Roldan
Statistics show that there is one suicide every 16.1 minutes, and thus, six new survivors of that suicide every 16.1 minutes. In this deeply moving but also practical book, authors Judy Zoints Fox and Mia Roldan share the results of their survey of children of parental suicide. Exploring the ways their lives have been affected and addressing the emotional, psychological, and physical effects, daughters and sons of all ages — from children to adolescents to adults — reveal their reactions. The authors link these responses to the insights of therapists, clergy, a criminal investigator, and others — friends, classmates, work colleagues, relatives — as they discuss what is helpful to suicide survivors and what is not. Voices of Strength helps survivors make sense of life’s least understandable act and shows them how to heal by focusing on comfort, memories, recovery, and hopes for a productive future.