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Books for grieving a suicide

  • Most of the links from the book titles below will lead you to Amazon.com, where you can learn more about the book, read reviews about it, and order it if you'd like. Most of these books can be purchased through other book sellers, as well, or found at your local library.

    Books for Adults

    Aftershock: Help, Hope, and Healing in the Wake of Suicide
    by Arrington Cox, Candy David, David Cox, Candy Arrington
    B&H Publishing Group; October, 2003.
    Aftershock is a recovery book that will provide encouragement and support for survivors. Examining the complex emotions involved in grieving a suicide death, readers will come to realize they are not alone in their grief and will not be alone in their healing.

    Andrew, You Died Too Soon: A Family Experience of Grieving and Living Again
    by Corrine Chilstrom
    Scriptural, Christian approach to grief and transformation from a tragic event, her son's suicide at 18.

    The Bereaved Parent
    by Harriet Sarnoff Schiff
    Published by Penguin Books (1977)
    This is the classic book for parents whose child has died and for all those who want to help them.

    But I Didn't Say Goodbye
    Barbara Rubel
    For parents and professionals to assist young survivors.

    Dying to Be Free: A Healing Guide for Families After a Suicide
    by Beverly Cobain, Jean Larch 
    Hazelden; February, 2006.
    Transforming suffering into strength, misconceptions into understanding, and shame into dignity, Beverly Cobain and Jean Larch break through the dangerous silence and stigma surrounding suicide to bring readers this much-needed book. Cobain's achingly honest account of dealing with the suicide of a loved one, along with personal stories from others who experienced this profound loss, provide powerful insight into the confusion, fear, and guilt family members experience.

    The Empty Chair
    Berly Glover
    Author writes about issues and experiences from the experience of the suicide of a brother and a daughter.

    The Enigma of Suicide
    by George Howe Colt, Publisher: Touchstone Books (04/01/1992)
    Results from a 10 year investigation on the problem of suicide. Includes first person accounts with sections on: Adolescent Suicide; History; The Range of Self-Destructive Behavior; Prevention; The Right to Die and Survivors.

    Grieving a Suicide: A Loved One's Search for Comfort, Answers & Hope
    by Albert Y. Hsu
    InterVarsity Press; July, 2002.
    This guide for suicide survivors family and friends of people who took their own lives maintains InterVarsity Press's tradition of cerebral evangelicalism: it is biblical, well reasoned, clearly presented and thoroughly researched.

    Grieving the Unexpected: The Suicide of a Son
    by Dr Gary Leblanc
    Essence Publishing (Canada); January, 2003.
    Dr. LeBlanc openly discusses his family's struggle to survive such a dreadful event, the variables that sustained them during the initial shock and the healing process that enabled them to commence their journey towards wholeness. Honest and insightful, Grieving the Unexpected will help those who minister to hurting people better understand what families and individuals experience when confronted with terrible loss, and will testify to the sustaining comfort of God's presence.

    Healing after the Death Suicide of a Loved One
    by Ann Smolin and John Guinan
    Special chapters for the death of parents, children, siblings and spouse. Case studies, markers in the experience of many survivors and a directory of support groups nation-wide.

    In the Wake of Suicide: Stories of People Left Behind
    by Victoria Alexander
    Comforting stories of many survivors and their individual reactions to the suicide of a loved one. Depth and breadth of material.

    My Son, My Son: A Guide to Healing After a Suicide in the Family
    by Iris Bolton, Curtis Mitchell
    Mom's perspective, very positive reader reviews.

    No Time to Say Goodbye: Surviving the Suicide of a Loved One
    by Carla Fine
    Author experienced the death of her husband by suicide and explores the social stigma as well as the particular grief of survivors.

    Seven Choices
    by Elizabeth Harper Neeld, Ph.D.
    Published by Delta (1990)
    Elizabeth Harper Neeld describes the steps each of us can take to find a new balance for our lives after experiencing death, divorce, illness, as well as grief, loss and change of any kind.

    Silent Grief - Living in the Wake of Suicide
    by Christopher Lukas & Henry M. Seiden 
    Published by Simon & Schuster 01 February, 1988
    Lukas and Seiden, a television writer/producer (and suicide survivor) and a clinical psychologist, discuss how the emotional aftermath of suicide differs from that of normal bereavement not only in duration but because of the hidden implication of responsibility and higher risk of suicide for those relatives left behind.

    Stronger Than Death: When Suicide Touches Your Life
    by Sue Chance - Published by Avon Books (1992)
    A psychiatrist shares the life and suicide death of her only child and her personal struggle to cope with this tragic event.

    The Suicidal Mind
    Edwin S. Shneidman Pub. Date: Mar 1998, Publisher: Oxford Univ Press
    "The Suicidal Mind" brims with insights into the suicidal impulse and with helpful suggestions for counteraction methods. Throughout, Dr. Edwin Shneidman offers practical, explicit maneuvers to assist in treating a suicidal individual--steps that can be taken by concerned friends or family and professionals alike.

    Suicide: A Christian Response
    Timothy J. Demy (Editor), Gary P. Stewart (Contributor)
    Publisher: Kregel Publications; (April 1998)
    With articles by 35 notable writers and scholars, "Suicide: A Christian Response" presents the medical, ethical, legal, and personal arguments for choosing life rather than death.

    The Suicide Of My Son
    by Trudy Carlson - published by Benline Press (1995)
    After the suicide death of her teenage son Ben, Trudy Carlson sheds light into the little-understood symptoms of depressive illness and anxiety disorders in youngsters. She explains the biological nature of these conditions, and maps out a low-cost, effective school based program for recognizing and treating school-aged youth. The correlation between depressive illness and teen suicide is examined.

    Suicide: Prevention, Intervention, Postvention
    by Earl Grollman - Published by Beacon Press (1988)
    Offers advice on how to recognize the warning signs of potential suicide attempt, how to intervene when a suicide has been attempted, and how to comfort families and friends who have lost a loved one to suicide.

    Suicide Survivors, A Guide for Those Left Behind
    Suicide why: 85 Questions and Answers about Suicide
    Adina Wrobleski, 1994
    Helps to normalize reactions to suicide.

    Suicide: Why?
    by Adina Wrobleski
    Suicide Why? is an excellent, very informative book on suicide. Adina Wrobleski, using her extensive knowledge and insight takes much of the mystery out of the most misunderstood subject. She explains, through the books question and answer format, what society must know in order to save lives. This book is also a good place for a suicide survivor to start when trying to find answers to the many questions he/she may have after the loss of a loved one by suicide.

    Survivors of Suicide
    by Rita Robinson - Published by Newcastle Publishing Co. (1989)
    Survivors of Suicide is a helping guide for those family and friends left behind when a loved one commits suicide. This newly revised edition goes into more detail about teen suicide and the help that is available, and dispels the myths surrounding suicide.

    Why Suicide?
    by Eric Marcus - Published by HarperCollins (1996)
    A nonjudgmental guide for people whose lives have been touched by suicide. It offers practical answers to such related concerns as what to tell others, preventability, and what to do with suicidal feelings.

    Words I Never Thought to Speak
    by Victoria Alexander Publisher: New York : Toronto : New York : Lexington Books ; Maxwell Macmillan Canada ; Maxwell Macmillan International, ©1991.
    First person accounts of people's struggles after a loss by suicide.

    Books for young people

    After a Suicide
    The Dougy Center
    An activity book to assist children. 62 pages.

    After Suicide
    by Eileen Kuehn
    Teen Talk, fast facts, questions and answers. 64 pages.

    Living when a Young Friend Commits Suicide
    by Earl Grollman and Max Malikow
    Easy to read for youth, also includes signs of impending suicide, what to do, who to tell.

    Someone I Love Died by Suicide: A Story for Child Survivors and those Who Care About Them
    by Doreen Cammarata, MS, Michael Ives Volk
    Author is a mental health professional and a survivor since childhood of parental suicide. Intended for parents to read to children.

    Talking With Children About Loss
    by Maria Trozzi, Published by Beacon Press, 1990
    Intended for parents to read to children.

    When A Friend Dies: A Book For Teens About Grieving & Healing
    by Marilyn Gootman Publisher: Minneapolis : Free Spirit, ©1994
    If you are grieving the death of a friend, do something for yourself. Take the time to read this book. It isn't very long—there aren't a lot of words—but you may find the help you need to cope with your sadness and begin to heal.

    Video

    The Shattered Dimension: The Journey of Grief After Suicide
    VHS, 44 min. Part 1, emotional responses; part 2 deals with anniversaries, holidays, forgiveness, self-care and social support.
    Compassion Books 800-970-4220