Featured Book: Healing After the Suicide of a Loved One

By: Ann Smolin, C.S.W. and John Guinan, Ph.D.

Book review by: Tracy Peter

This book offers a look at the different stages of grief for those left behind. If the one who ended their life was a parent, a child, a spouse or a sibling, the survivor or survivors deal with the grief in different manners. The authors take a look at these different ways to handle grief depending on who the survivor/survivors are.

This book also offers advice on how to heal by taking care of oneself and how to move ahead through the pain. It also talks about how a survivor should try to go to a group to help guide them through the healing process.

Book review by: Jessica Caswell

I would recommend this book for several reasons. I found it to be very encouraging for survivors in all phases of grieving as to the ability to resume a normal life unlike some I have read that seem to dwell on the infinite sorrow that consumes some survivor’s lives. It addresses all relationships to the victim and the guilt, shame, blame, and anger that often results from this tragedy and helps with dealing with the turbulence of emotions that consumes a survivor often detaching them from reality and the ability to function in many ways. This book does not attempt to psychoanalyze the reasons behind why one would commit suicide because it is a determined act with varying but multiple causes. It delves in to the resulting effects on spouses, children, parents and the branches of lost support that can occur as a result of blame and determining reason, it specifies that it is not meant to take the place of a support group but to give courage to those hesitant to seek out such support if they feel ostracized and possibly judged by others due to the stigma attached to suicide. One of the most important points I found particularly for new survivors is not to blame themselves for an argument, disagreement or negative action they may feel was the cause, aside from grief that can often be the strongest emotion and the most crippling in terms of seeking support and healing. The book is well written, expansive in it’s coverage to include all relationships, effects on the family, feelings of the survivor, encouragement for each individual to deal with their own grief on their own timeline, not an arbitrary time line set aside by someone else and most of all to never be ashamed and feel to be deserving of treatment by others with just as much respect of a mourner of any other cause of death.

Life Must Go On If Only For The Sake Of Those Who Are Left, And What Is More It Is Our Duty To Learn To Enjoy It Again.