Lost a Child to Suicide

Survivors of Suicide Loss Support Group - Madison, NJ

The loss of a child is an unfathomable loss that no parent should ever have to know. When that death is a suicide, the loss and pain are often multiplied. There are no words that can be said that will capture the intense feeling of outliving your child. The following are a list of books written specifically for parents that have lost children to suicide.

To see more about any book, click on the cover or title to be taken to Amazon.com. While at Amazon.com you can see the reviews by other readers and also read part of the book by using their "Look Inside The Book" feature. Many of these books are available in hardcover, paperback or Kindle eBook format.

Reading List About Grief from the Loss of a Child to Suicide


My Son . . . My Son . . .: A Guide to Healing After Death, Loss, or Suicide

Author: Iris Bolton

ISBN: 0961632607

This book was inspired by the suicide of Curtis Mitchell Bolton, 20-year-old son of the author, Iris Mitchell Bolton. Mrs. Bolton describes in detail the journey she made from the devastation of losing her son Mitch by suicide to the step by step healing that took place in her life. The book is hopeful and helpful to those who have suffered any loss from death, divorce, or separation. It gives promise of recovery and healing and learning to live with the terrible event.

Written in 1983, MY SON...MY SON... is now in its 18th printing. This book ships to countries all over the world, from Australia and New Zealand to England and South Africa. It is being used as a teaching guide for students in colleges from California to Maine. Ministers, priests and rabbis have found the book helpful as they minister to those who have suffered any loss.


Finding Peace Without All The Pieces: After a Loved One's Suicide

Author: LaRita Archibald

ISBN: 0615611869

Launched with a powerful narrative thrust of the suicide of her son in 1978, LaRita Archibald leads the reader from the initial trauma of violent death, through the ragged, brutal and unknown psychological and emotional landscape that must be traversed to find eventual peace. Using lessons learned from decades of work with suicide bereaved LaRita helps survivors of suicide loss have a framework for understanding the complexities of suicide grief and the reassurance that what they are experiencing is normal for what they have experienced. She gives names to the unsettling experiences of 'phantom pain' and 'flashbacks' and validates feelings of anger, responsibility, frustration, even relief, as well as the need to search for answers, reasons and cause. By addressing the concept of 'choice' and the impact of religious beliefs, misconceptions and age-old bias, LaRita helps uncover layers of cultural influence that often create barriers to healing. She shares anecdotes of military suicide loss, the compounded tragedy of murder/suicide and multiple suicide loss and how those left behind gained the strength to work through the extreme circumstance of their tragedies. She offers practical advice for protecting the parents marriage after a child's suicide, for meeting needs of bereaved children and for taking care of one's physical, emotional and spiritual self during acute grief. She acknowledges the evolvement of a 'new normal; the adjustment to the physical and social environment suicide grievers must make to live beyond the death of their loved one and, as well, to live with the fact of suicide as the cause of the death. LaRita offers the reader suggestions for moving from being a victim to a survivor, and eventually, a "thriver". In her book, Finding Peace Without All The Pieces, LaRita Archibald helps the reader place the pieces of their own loss into a mosaic that brings hope and healing just by reading it. She extends the promise that the overwhelming anguish of today will eventually subside into manageable sorrow, that the suicide of one dearly loved IS survivable and there is healing and peace waiting in the future. She takes the hand of suicide bereaved, lending the strength of her own healing, as she helps them cross crevasses of deep suffering and tread the rugged paths through mountains of grief toward a plateau of peace. All the while she comforts and encourages, telling them. "Follow me, dear survivor. I've made this bitter journey. I will show you the way."


When The Bough Breaks: Forever After the Death of a Son or Daughter

Author: Judith R. Bernstein Ph.D.

ISBN: 0836252829

When the Bough Breaks presents a breakthrough concept of mourning, documenting the process of evolution from initial grief to an altered outlook on life. Excerpts from interviews with 50 parents who lost a child from five to forty-five trace the road from utter devastation to a revised view of life, resulting in a work that is a tribute to resilience and the indomitable human spirit.

Author Judith R. Bernstein, Ph.D., speaks from the dual perspectives of bereaved parent and psychologist. She weaves keen psychological insight with the voices of parents to achieve an intelligent volume that is at once heartbreaking and heartwarming. The wisdom of her science and her heart combine to result in a book that teaches the psychology of bereavement with profound tenderness.

How to Survive Your Child's Suicide, Steps to Heal the Hurt (Thinking About Suicide Series Book 1)

Author: Louisa Lanford


With the current tide of suicide sweeping the world, many parents are finding themselves trying to survive the heartbreaking loss after their child commits suicide. If your child, teen, or adult child killed themselves through suicide, you are left to wonder why and to deal with not only the heart-wrenching loss, but the terrible guilt that perhaps you could have done more to prevent your child’s death. You may even be afraid that your broken heart will never heal.

Author Louisa Lanford has been in your shoes, when over 30 years ago, her son took his own life one terrible day. Louisa describes the shock of the news of her son’s suicide and her resulting devastation. She also tells how she was able to heal from much of the terrible pain, blame, bitterness and hurt she felt. She explains how she was able to forgive her son for killing himself, as well as to forgive herself for not being able to prevent his death.

If you or a loved one has suffered such a terrible loss of a child to suicide, you will want to read how Louisa was able to process the loss of her child, survive the pain, and then to gradually, step-by-step, to heal her hurt.

This report is a quick, easy read that will help you to immediately follow Louisa’s journey so that you too, will know the keys to start your recovery from your heart-breaking loss of your child’s suicide.

This little 36 page e-report is a great guide for those need help and comfort and help from above, and need it right now.


Suicide of a Child

Author: 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."

Chasing Death: Losing a Child to Suicide.

Author: Jan Andersen

ISBN: 1905399448

Chasing Death is NOT a grief recovery book, but one that attempts to put candid and heartrending words to the often incommunicable pain, guilt and despair that the surviving families endure, not only through the telling of the author's story, but through the experiences of other families mourning the loss of a child, stepchild, grandchild, sibling, friend or relative to suicide. Although this book will break your heart, it will also provide solace to other child suicide grievers in the knowledge that their thoughts and feelings are entirely normal and that they are not alone.

Too many bereaved people are thrown into a wilderness of relentless, silent torture, afraid to share their feelings for fear of being judged. This book clearly demonstrates how debilitating the grief can be and how it can still cripple a survivor, ten, twenty, thirty and even forty years or more after the event. However, there are uplifting chapters that give advice on how to live alongside the grief in a positive way and how joy and sadness can co-exist.

The audience for Chasing Death extends beyond grieving families and those who deal with them and will provide a compelling, touching and enlightening read for anyone interested in emotional true life stories. It will also help people respond with greater understanding and sensitivity to the surviving families' grief. £1 from every hard copy of the book sold is being donated to Kidscape, the UK charity dedicated to keeping children safe from bullying and abuse.

Grieving the Unexpected: The Suicide of a Son

Author: Dr Gary LeBlanc

ISBN: 1553064909

As a former Family Therapist, Gary LeBlanc was a man who daily dealt with issues of grief, guilt and failure in the lives of others. It was not until the suicide death of his son, Shawn, that Dr. LeBlanc and his family had to directly confront these same feelings, as well as the many questions which emerged from this painful tragedy. In Grieving the Unexpected: The Suicide of a Son, 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. Dr. Gary LeBlanc received his Ph.D. in Family Studies from Florida State University. He is Professor of Sociology at Atlantic Baptist University, in Moncton, N.B. Canada.


Melissa: A Father's Lessons from a Daughter's Suicide

Author: Frank Page

Lawrence Kimbrough

ISBN: 1433679108

Desperately hurting people take their own lives every day throughout the world, yet the church is not on top of the epidemic and often seems ill- equipped to address it biblically and effectively.

Frank Page, a former president of the Southern Baptist Convention, learned this firsthand when he and his wife Dayle lost their daughter, Melissa, to suicide in 2009. Writing from personal experience, he examines the biblical truths that carried him through such a painful time and that minister to him on dark days still known to come around.

Ultimately, Melissa: A Father's Lessons from a Daughter's Suicide is beauty from ashes, a book of wisdom and hope that Page wishes he could have read before going through this valley, and a resource the church can use to directly address an all-too-real problem.

A Broken Heart Still Beats: After Your Child Dies

Author: Anne McCracken, Mary Semel

ISBN: 1568385560

How Two Grieving Mothers Found Inspiration and Comfort There are few, if any, events in life as traumatic, heart-wrenching, and crushing as the death of a child. While nothing can mute the pain of such a life-shattering loss, others who know this experience can help those suffering articulate the chaos of their feelings and see that they can, eventually, feel whole again. Organized by a journalist and a psychotherapist, each of whom has lost a child, A Broken Heart Still Beats is a remarkable compilation of poetry, fiction, and essays about the pain, stages of grief, and the coping and healing process that follows the death of one's child. The chapters are organized thematically and chronologically, from "Thunderstruck," the point at which parents first learn they have lost a child, to "The Legacy of Loss," wherein the authors and the anthology selections speak to the "steely hard and cold" life lessons this type of bereavement brings. This compilation of poems and excerpts draws from short stories, novels, biographies, and autobiographies that focus on the death of a child as relayed through classic and contemporary world literature. It is made up of works by some of the best writers and thinkers present and past, many of them bereaved parents as well, ranging from Mark Twain, Isabel Allende, William Shakespeare, John Edgar Wideman, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Anne Tyler, and Sophocles to Eric Clapton and Winston Churchill. Biographical introductions personalize the excerpts, often offering new insights into well-known writers like William Faulkner and Rudyard Kipling. This book's anthologized selections make it truly exceptional. A Broken Heart Still Beats-- expresses the universal themes of grief--and the common points of these experiences and feelings--in language and imagery that goes straight to the heart. The fact that each of the authors has lost a child brings a powerful authenticity to the book. Bereaved parents and family members as well as mental health professionals, bereavement counselors, and those interested in grief literature will all find this book extremely valuable. "As one who has experienced the tragic, untimely death of a child, I have found this anthology of similar experiences an excellent source of comfort and healing." --George McGovern, former U.S. Senator and Presidential candidate. "By putting words to what is surely the most unspeakable of life's losses, this eloquent and painfully honest book may help make the darkness a little less dark, the loneliness a little less lonely." --Judith Viorst, author of Necessary Losses Born and raised in new York, Mary Semel graduated from Goucher College in Baltimore. She is a psychotherapist who, after working for many years at Sheppard Pratt Hospital, now has a private practice. Her sixteen-year-old son, Alexander, was killed in a car accident in 1991. Anne McCracken is a former newspaper reporter and feature writer. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland, with her husband, Tom, and her daughter, Hollis. She lost her five-year-old son, Jake, in 1989. The authors have appeared on "The Today Show" and National Public Radio's "Morning Edition."

Leaving the Hall Light On: A Mother's Memoir of Living with Her Son's Bipolar Disorder and Surviving His Suicide

Author: Madeline Sharples

ISBN: 0982579489

Leaving the Hall Light On charts the near-destruction of one middle-class family whose son committed suicide after a seven-year struggle with bipolar disorder. Madeline Sharples, author, poet and web journalist, goes deep into her own well of grief to describe her anger, frustration and guilt. She describes many attempts - some successful, some not - to have her son committed to hospital and to keep him on his medication. The book also charts her and her family's redemption, how she considered suicide herself, and ultimately, her decision to live and take care of herself as a woman, wife, mother and writer.