Lost a Parent to Suicide
Survivors of Suicide Loss Support Group - Madison, NJ
The suicide of a parent is a traumatic event for many people. You may have known that they were struggling with depression or other mental health issues, or they may have hidden it from you. Most people don't realize that the suicide rate is highest among older people than it is among young adults. Suicide of a parent is a quiet killer that many people do not realize is a serious issue. The following is a list of books to help you deal with your grief following the suicide of a parent.
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Reading List About Grief From the Loss of a Parent to Suicide
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 a 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.
"Before Their Time" is the first work to present adult children survivors' (defined as eighteen or above at the time of the parent's death) accounts of their loss, grief, and resolution following a parent's suicide. In one section, the book offers the perspectives of sons and daughters on the deaths of mothers; in another, the perspectives of sons and daughters on the deaths of fathers. In a third section, four siblings reflect on the shared loss of their mother. Each of these survivors faces the common difficulties associated with losing a loved one by suicide. They also experience difficulties specific to their status as both adult and child. 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. The writers describe feelings of regret and responsibility related to their parent's suicide. They express concern about other family members' vulnerability to suicide. They speak openly about the fears and stresses they face and how they cope with them. The authors ranged in age from nineteen to thirty-six at the time of the parent's death. Between one and twenty-five years have passed since that tragedy. In addition to the first-person narratives, the book includes a resource section with a national listing of suicide survivor support groups; an overview of existing research on survivors of suicide by John L. McIntosh, past president of the American Association of Suicidology; and an essay on elderly suicide by David C. Clark, secretary-general, International Association for Suicide, and editor-in-chief of Crisis. The book is introduced with a Foreword by Rev. Charles Rubey, founder and director of Loving Outreach to Survivors of Suicide. Author note: Mary Stimming, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Dominican University, gives lectures and workshops on suicide and religion. Maureen Stimming, Associate Director of Career Services at Chicago-Kent College of Law, served as a therapist in a residential mental health treatment center before completing graduate studies in psychology. Prior to her work at Kent, she served as a counselor in the Chicago parochial school system.
Author: Maxine Harris
More than 60 men and women who lost a parent at an early age contributed their stories to this investigation of an important life event by a practicing psychotherapist. Their stories?including accounts of some famous figures: C.S. Lewis, Virginia Woolf, Eleanor Roosevelt?shed light on a legacy of loss the author views as "the psychological Great Divide, separating the world into a permanent 'before and after.'" Whatever form the impact of this loss takes in later adult life?it can be rage, driving ambition, fear of intimacy?these life stories amply demonstrate the indelible character of the mark left on the child. These are also stories of recovery, of people who became more than survivors, testifying to the repair of damage from childhood trauma. This enlightening presentation opens up a seldom discussed topic.