I Understand: Pain, Love, and Healing after Suicide – Woodrick, Vonnie
Time doesn’t heal—love heals
When Vonnie Woodrick lost her husband Rob to suicide in 2003, she was faced with a series of decisions. How would she move on? How would she support and raise her three children as a young widow? How would she talk about Rob and honor his memory? These questions had no easy answers, but Vonnie found herself longing for one thing in particular: understanding. The stigma of mental illness loomed large over Rob’s death and made healing difficult. But Vonnie found the common assumptions surrounding suicide to be false. Rob was not “crazy.” He did not choose to take his own life. He was in agony and only wanted the pain to end. His death was a direct result of his mental illness. Why didn’t more people understand this?
Over a decade later, Vonnie and her children created the nonprofit organization i understand to help others enduring this same grief and loneliness. Since its founding in 2014, i understand has become a haven of compassionate comfort and a powerful voice in the movement to change the way we talk about suicide so that it can be seen for what it truly is: a terminal effect of mental illness, rather than a deliberate choice.
This is the story of how love transformed Vonnie’s brokenness into hope—not only for herself and her family, but for anyone struggling to emerge from the darkness of suicide.Order Now
Healing After Loss: Daily Meditations for Working Through Grief – Martha W. Hickman
The classic guide for dealing with grief and loss
For those who have suffered the loss of a loved one, here are thoughtful words to strengthen, inspire and comfort
Saving Ourselves From Suicide – Before and After: How to Ask for Help, Recognize Warning Signs, and Navigate Grief – Linda Pacha
Linda Pacha is refreshingly transparent, holding nothing back in this moving and uplifting help book. With the detailed table of contents, you will refer back to her recommendations and warm advice time and time again. Read warning signs in her son’s last text messages that are labeled for you. Learn what Nick could not feel or understand: the options and hope that were still there. And if suicide has already happened, she will help you move forward in your grief, release any guilt or anger, and find the hope in life again. Pacha is a parent who has been through the worst and shares everything to help others in pain. Book Club discussion questions available.Order Now
After a Parent’s Suicide: Helping Children Heal – Margo Requarth
The premature death of a parent can be devastating for young children- with the consequences far more profound when the parent dies by suicide. Amidst the resulting grief, turmoil and confusion, the surviving parent is faced with the monumental task of tending to the emotional lives of the children left behind. In this instructive and impassioned work, longtime children’s bereavement counselor and psychotherapist Margo Requarth, M.A., M.F.T., charts the complex emotional waters every family must navigate in the wake of a previously unimaginable suicide death. Starting with the haunting tale of her own mother’s suicide, Requarth weaves together her experience counseling “survivors,” poignant interviews with children, teens and parents, and the latest research on suicide and its aftermath. What emerges is a groundbreaking “how-to” guide for parent survivors: how to manage both the immediate and long-term implications of the suicide, how to talk to your children, how to see them through the heart-rending anguish to a place of acceptance, healing, and finally, a renewed and deepened capacity for joy.Order Now
The Invisible Front: Love and Loss In An Era of Endless War – Yochi Dreazen
The Invisible Front is the story of how one family tries to set aside their grief and find purpose in almost unimaginable loss. The Grahams work to change how the Army treats those with PTSD and to erase the stigma that prevents suicidal troops from getting the help they need before making the darkest of choices. Their fight offers a window into the military’s institutional shortcomings and its resistance to change – failures that have allowed more than 3,000 troops to take their own lives since 2001. Yochi Dreazen, an award-winning journalist who has covered the military since 2003, has been granted remarkable access to the Graham family and tells their story in the full context of two of America’s longest wars. Dreazen places Mark and Carol’s personal journey, which begins when they fall in love in college and continues through the end of Mark’s thirty-four year career in the Army, against the backdrop of the military’s ongoing suicide spike, which shows no signs of slowing. With great sympathy and profound insight, The Invisible Front details America’s problematic treatment of the troops who return from war far different than when they’d left and uses the Graham family’s work as a new way of understanding the human cost of war and its lingering effects off the battlefield.Order Now
Still With Us: Voices of Sibling Suicide Loss Survivors: Edited by- Lena M. Q. Heilmannn
Lena Heilmann lost her sister, Danielle, to suicide in 2012. Experiencing the enormous weight of grief, she reached out to other sibling suicide loss survivors to find comfort, healing, and connection. Still With Us contains 23 stories of sibling suicide loss survivors who, after experiencing devastating losses, navigated through their grief and found a path forward.
The essays in Still With Us are arranged chronologically to move the reader from the first years of grieving to decades of healing. The authors commemorate the love that they continue to have for their siblings by telling us stories of grief, support, and strength.
All of these essays share a common message: No matter how much time passes, our siblings are still with us.
Understanding Your Suicide Grief: Ten Essential Touchstones for Finding Hope and Healing Your Heart (Understanding Your Grief) – By Alan D Wolfelt
For anyone who has experienced the suicide of a loved one, coworker, neighbor, or acquaintance and is seeking information about coping with such a profound loss, this compassionate guide explores the unique responses inherent to their grief. Using the metaphor of the wilderness, the book introduces 10 touchstones to assist the survivor in this naturally complicated and particularly painful journey.
The touchstones include opening to the presence of loss, embracing the uniqueness of grief, understanding the six needs of mourning, reaching out for help, and seeking reconciliation over resolution. Learning to identify and rely on each of these touchstones will bring about hope and healing.Order Now
“Sitting Still: Like a Frog” – Eline Snel
Mindfulness—the quality of attention that combines full awareness with acceptance of each moment, just as it is—is gaining broad acceptance among mental health professionals as an adjunct to treatment. This little book is a very appealing introduction to mindfulness meditation for children and their parents. In a simple and accessible way, it describes what mindfulness is and how mindfulness-based practices can help children calm down, become more focused, fall asleep more easily, alleviate worry, manage anger, and generally become more patient and aware.
The book contains eleven practices that focus on just these scenarios, along with short examples and anecdotes throughout. Included with purchase is an audio CD with guided meditations, voiced by Myla Kabat-Zinn, who along with her husband, Jon Kabat-Zinn, popularized mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) as a therapeutic approach.Order Now
“The Unapologetic Guide to Black Mental Health” – Rheeda Walker
We can’t deny it any longer: there is a Black mental health crisis in our world today. Black people die at disproportionately high rates due to chronic illness, poverty, under-education, and the effects of racism. This book is an exploration of Black mental health in today’s world, the forces that have undermined mental health progress for African Americans, and what needs to happen for African Americans to heal psychological distress, find community, and undo years of stigma and marginalization in order to access effective mental health care.
This breakthrough book will help readers recognize mental and emotional health problems, understand the myriad ways in which these problems impact overall health and quality of life and relationships, develop psychological tools to neutralize ongoing stressors, live more fully, and navigate a mental health care system that is unequal.Order Now
Answering the Cry for Help: A Suicide Prevention Manual for Schools and Communities – David A. Opalewski
Every year it is estimated that in excess of 100,000 people in the United States end their lives by suicide. These people are not just statistical numbers, They are husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, children, friends and/or classmates.
Answering the Cry for Help will help to bridge the gap between schools and communities by providing guidelines for developing a Community Suicide Prevention Program that:
- Promotes awareness about risks,
- Discusses methods for suicide prevention,
- Establishes guidelines and resources for intervention,
Why People Die by Suicide by Dr. Thomas Joiner
Drawing on extensive clinical and epidemiological evidence, as well as personal experience, Thomas Joiner brings a comprehensive understanding to 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
“Dying to be Free-a Healing Guide for Families after Suicide”
Surviving the heartbreak of a loved one’s suicide – you don’t have to go through it alone. Authors Beverly Cobain and Jean Larch break through suicide’s silent stigma in Dying to Be Free, offering gentle advice for those left behind, so that healing can begin.