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Bibliotherapy

By Carla Fine, author of No Time to Say Goodbye

"I wrote No Time to Say Goodbye: Surviving the Suicide of a Loved One to help break the silence following the suicide of a loved one and to describe the devastating and unique impact that suicide has on those of us who are left behind. I also wanted to tell my story and the stories of others so that we can begin to remember the lives of our loved ones, not just their deaths and the way that they died.

Suicide and death are not the same: first we must get through the suicide, only then we can begin to mourn. I wrote my book to bear witness to the life and death of my husband Harry as well as to pay testimony to each of us who has been touched by suicide. By letting go of the silence, we can help all who are bereaved by suicide to know that they are not alone in their grief and pain, nor are they isolated and apart.

Although suicide transforms us and changes us forever, our very survival is a tribute to our loved one’s legacy. Survivors are more resilient, courageous, resourceful, and empathetic than we ever thought possible. We have all been “there” and will be “there” for other survivors as they go through their own personal journeys. This is the light that gets me through. Thank you all, Carla."

A comprehensive book list by and about the suicide bereaved is below. The majority of the books here have been reviewed and recommended by the American Association of Suicidology and/or the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. The book titles highlighted in white are linked to Amazon.

 

Surviving Suicide Loss Books

A Broken Heart Still Beats: After Your Child Dies

Anne McCracken and Mary Semel, 1999, Hazeldon Publications.?This anthology of poetry, fiction, and essays compiled from the literature of loss and grief is remarkable. The authors have included pieces from everyone from William Shakespeare to Dwight D. Eisenhower whose works explore the shock, the grief, and the search for meaning that come with the death of a child. Each piece is clearly introduced explaining the details surrounding the person's loss.

A Force Unfamiliar To Me: A Cautionary Tale

Jane Butler, Hamlet Books, 1998. A mother's personal account of her son's depression and suicide. Explores some of the familiar challenges many survivor families face, such as how to handle the holidays and the struggles of grief between the parents of a child who dies by suicide.

A Hike For Mike: An Uplifting Adventure Across the Sierra Nevada for Depression Awareness

Jeff Alt, 2005, Dreams Shared Publications.?The author writes about the physical and emotional challenges of the trek and its parallels to our journey through life and grief.

A Long-Shadowed Grief: Suicide and its Aftermath

Harold Ivan Smith, 2007, Cowley Publications?In the aftermath of suicide, friends and family face a long road of grief and reflection. With a sympathetic eye and a firm hand, Harold Ivan Smith searches for the place of the spirit in the wake of suicide. He asks how one may live a spiritual life as a survivor, and he addresses the way faith is permanently altered by the residue of stigma that attaches to suicide.

A Special Scar: The Experience of People Bereaved by Suicide

Alison Wertheimer, Routledge, 2001. The author (who lost her sister to suicide) presents interviews with 50 survivors, and covers a wide range of issues, including the press, stigma, guilt, anger and rejection.

A Winding Road: A Handbook for Those Support the Suicide Bereaved

Michelle Linn-Gust, Ph.D., and John Peters, M.Suicidology. Chellehead Works, 2010. The book discusses a myriad of issues around the topic from why suicide happens to helping children cope and how culture and religion take a role in how suicide and suicide grief is viewed. Mostly, the book offers hope that the people who are supporting the bereaved can help understand the winding road so the bereaved don’t have to travel it alone.

After Suicide Loss: Coping With Your Grief

 Bob Baugher, Ph.D., John Jordan, Ph.D., 2001, The Family Loss Project.?This book is written specifically to help survivors during the first year after a suicide. It is organized around the first few days, few weeks, few months, etc. It is short, concise and very practical in its orientation to providing concrete suggestions and help for survivors.

After Suicide: Help for the Bereaved

Dr. Sheila Clark, 1995, Hill of Content.?This is a comprehensive handbook dealing with a specific area of bereavement after suicide - and fills the gap in the grief and suicide literature. It shows practical commonsense and careful guidelines to help people find their way through this time. It is an excellent resource for both those who have suffered and those who would support them.

After the Darkest Hour the Sun Will Shine Again

Elizabeth Mehren, 1997, Fireside.?This helpful and inspirational book clearly helps bereaved parents deal with the many questions and issues that come up for them. It's both a guide and a meditation that offers support and comfort. It is written in a clear and simple style with short stories dealing with difficult issues. The advice and solace found in this small book is very valuable.

Before Their Time: Adult Children's Experiences of Parental Suicide

Mary T. Stimming (Editor) & Maureen Stimming (Editor), 1999, Temple University Press.?Before Their Time is the first work to present adult children survivors accounts of their loss, grief and resolution following a parent's suicide. In one section, the book offers the perspective of sons and daughters on the deaths of mothers, in another, the perspective of sons and daughters on the deaths of fathers. In a third section, four siblings reflect on the shared loos of their mother. 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.

Black Suicide: The Tragic Reality of America’s Deadliest Secret  

Alton R. Kirk, Ph.D., Beckham Publications Group, Inc. 2009. A brief exploration of suicide in the African-American community, Black Suicide includes a chapter dedicated to first-person accounts of black survivors of suicide loss.

Blue Genes: A Memoir of Loss and Survival

By Christopher Lukas ?Christopher Lukas authored this book eleven years after the suicide of his brother, Tony, a two-time Pulitzer-winner. Tony, who was being treated for depression, ended his life in 1997. Christopher Lukas, himself a writer-producer-director in television, wrote this book in the hope of coming to an understanding of his relationship with his brother and with whom he had difficulty finding “common ground.”

Dead Reckoning: A Therapist Confronts His Own Grief

 David C. Treadway, BasicBooks, 1996. The author, now a successful family therapist, was just twenty when his mother, a longtime alcoholic, took her own life. Even as he counsels his clients on how to deal with death, loss and grief, he finds himself increasingly unable to manage his own. Turning to his own therapist for help, Treadway includes the reader on his journey of healing as he finally comes to terms with his mother’s death.?

Do They Have Bad Days In Heaven? Surviving the Suicide Loss of a Sibling

Michelle Linn-Gust, 2001, Chellehead Works.?The first comprehensive resource for sibling suicide survivors. The author takes the reader through the personal experiences of losing her younger sister and weaves in the available research for sibling survivors. She explains suicide, the grief process, and how sibling death impacts the brothers and sisters left behind, and offers practical advice for surviving the loss of a sibling to suicide.

Dying to Be Free: A Healing Guide for Families After a Suicide

Beverly Cobain & Jean Larch, Hazeldon, 2006.?Excellent healing guide for survivors of suicide. Recognizing that grief work is personal and unique in each individual, this book is recommended as a beacon of hope and understanding to those who have suffered the pain and loss of a loved one to suicide.

Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself from Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life

Judith Orloff, Three Rivers Press, 2010. National bestselling author Dr. Judith Orloff invites you to take a remarkable journey, one that leads to happiness and serenity, and a place where you can gain mastery over the negativity that pervades daily life. No matter how stressed you currently feel, the time for positive change is now. You possess the ability to liberate yourself from depression, anger, and fear.

Finding Your Way After the Suicide of Someone You Love 

David B. Biebel, D.Min., & Suzanne L. Foster, M.A., Zondervan, 2005. Co-authored by a survivor and a minister, this book looks at the experience of suicide bereavement from a Christian perspective.  

From the Ashes Flies the Phoenix: Creating a Powerful Life After a Suicide  

Gretta Krane, Inspiring Enterprises 2006. The survivor of her husband’s suicide, Gretta Krane shares her own journey, with the hope that it will inspire others to find self-discovery, growth, and hope in the aftermath of suicide loss.

Grief After Suicide: Understanding the Consequences and Caring for the Survivors

John R. Jordan, Ph.D. and John McIntosh, Ph.D., editors. Routledge 2011. Combining research literature, clinical theory, and extensive practical experience working with survivors of suicide loss, two of the field’s leading experts offer a comprehensive, professionally-oriented exploration of bereavement after suicide.  Topics covered include interventions to provide bereavement care for survivors and the development of research, clinical, and programmatic agendas for future efforts.

Healing After the Suicide of a Loved One 

Ann Smolin and John Guinan, Simon and Schuster, 1993. So many survivors struggle with wondering, "why?" and "what if?" This book contains case studies together with advice, to help survivors begin to heal.

Healing the Hurt Spirit: Daily Affirmations for People Who Have Lost a Loved One to Suicide

Catherine Greenleaf, 2007, St. Dymphna Press.?A unique book consisting of 365 daily affirmations, Greenleaf draws from her personal experience as a survivor as well as her professional experience in death education. Each day consists of a topic specific to survivors, along with a related thought for meditational purposes. This is an inspirational and meaningful book for survivors. Please contact St. Dymphna Press (http://www.healingthehurtspirit.com/) for more information about this book.

Healing Your Grieving Heart for Kids

Alan Wolfelt, Ph.D., 2000, Companion Press.?Helpful for families with children ages 6 to 12 who have lost a loved one.

His Bright Light: The Story of Nick Traina

Danielle Steel, 1998, Delacote Press.?At once a loving legacy and an unsparing depiction of a devastating illness, Danielle Steel's tribute to her lost son is a gift of hope, healing, and understanding to us all.

History of a Suicide: My Sister's Unfinished Life

Jill Bialosky, 2011, Atria Books?The unexpected loss of a sibling is always shattering, but when suicide is the cause, grief is rendered more complicated and haunting. The death of novelist, poet, and editor Bialosky's much younger sister, Kim, at age 21 in 1990 was one grim loss among many.

How I Stayed Alive When My Brain Was Trying to Kill Me Susan Rose Blauner, 2002, William Morrow, First Edition?. The book, How I Stayed Alive When My Brain Was Trying to Kill Me, is a “how to” guide on coping with suicidal thoughts by Susan Rose Blauner, someone who struggled for years with suicidal thoughts and behavior of her own.

In Her Wake: A Child Psychiatrist Explores the Mystery of Her Mother's Suicide

Nancy Rappaport, Basic Books, 2009.?In Her Wake: A Child Psychiatrist Explores the Mystery of Her Mother’s Suicide by Nancy Rappaport, offers a richly rewarding read as the author fearlessly places her family life up for public scrutiny as she struggles with the difficult and necessary task of trying to understand her mother’s suicide.

In the Wake of Suicide: Stories of the People Left Behind

Victoria Alexander, 1998, Jossey-Bass.?The stories in this book chronicle individual journeys through grief after suicide - from the initial impact of the loss to its lace in the survivor's lives years later. The intent of the book is to help survivors give voice and meaning to their loss.

Incomplete Knowledge

 Jeffrey Harrison, Four Way Books, 2006. The second half of this book of poetry (in particular the moving sequence titled “The Undertaking” ) speaks eloquently of the loss of the writer's brother to suicide, delving into isolated moments in the immediate aftermath and extended process of grief.

Lay My Burden Down: Unraveling Suicide and the Mental Health Crisis Among African-Americans

Alvin F. Poussaint, M.D., and Amy Alexander, Beacon Press, 2001. One of the few books about suicide and mental health problems within the African-American community.

Men & Grief: A Guide for Men Surviving the Death of a Loved One and a Resource for Caregivers and Mental Health Professionals

Carol Staudacher, New Harbinger Publications, Inc. 1991. Of particular interest are separate chapters addressing bereavement experienced during boyhood, adolescence, and adulthood, as well as a chapter on the effect of alcohol abuse on grief.  While the book does include some discussion of bereavement after suicide, the focus is on the male experience of bereavement generally.

Men Don’t Cry . . . Women Do: Transcending Gender Stereotypes of Grief

Terry L. Martin & Kenneth J. Doka, Routledge Taylor & Francis Group 2000. Part of Robert Neimeyer’s Death, Dying, and Bereavement Series, this book is best suited for mental health professionals and others interested in an exploration of theoretical and clinical aspects of gender-typical grief.  While not specific to suicide loss, the book addresses the impact of socialization and culture on how individuals experience loss.   

Mourning After Suicide (Looking Up)

Lois A. Bloom, 1986, Pilgrim Press. ?Originally published in 1986, the information presented is as useful today as it was then. A small, easy to read work, which provides practical information on grieving a death by suicide. The author draws on her own experience of losing a son to suicide, experts writing on suicidology, and her own spiritual beliefs.

My Brother Peter

Nomi Berger, 1998, Robert Davies Publishing.?Twenty-seven years after her brother Peter's apparent suicide in 1968, Nomi Berger set out to uncover the truth not only about how he died, but also about how he lived. This book chronicles her search for that truth, together with her efforts to purge herself of her own powerful guilt. It also describes a sister's journey toward healing, illustrating that there's no statute of limitations on either guilt or grief, but more importantly, on one's ability to seek and eventually find peace of mind.

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

Iris Bolton with C. Mitchell, 1984, Bolton Press.?A mother's and professional counselor's personal story of her son's suicide. It is for survivors who want assistance in their healing and for others who want to understand the survivor experience.

Never Regret the Pain: Loving and Losing a Bipolar Spouse

Sel Erder Yackley, Helm Publishing, 2008. In her memoir, Sel Erder Yackley, mother of three, provides the reader an intimate glimpse into her family’s struggle to understand, cope with, and grieve the bipolar disorder and ultimate suicide of her husband, a well-respected judge.

No Time to Say Goodbye: Surviving The Suicide Of A Loved One

Carla Fine, 1997, Doubleday.?The survivor of her husband's suicide, the author draws on her own experience and on conversations with many other survivors - as well as on the knowledge of counselors and mental health professionals - to offer a strong helping hand and guidance to those left behind after suicide. Both professionals and survivors will benefit from the self-disclosure of those who share their pain and honesty.

Our Forever Angel: Surviving the Loss of a Loved One to Suicide

Barbara Scholz, 2002, 1st Books Library.?This book offers empathy and hope, tugging readers to new heights of understanding, and encouraging survivors to rebuild lives and put the past where it rightfully belongs: behind them. “Is There Life After Suicide?” is the provocative question Barb Scholz has asked and answered, building her book on a foundation of introspection, hope, and ultimately, inspiration.

Reaching Out After Suicide: What’s Helpful and What’s Not

 Linda H. Kilburn, M.S.W. Available from KP Associates, LLC (KPAMASS@aol.com), 2008. The author, a clinical hospice social worker and survivor of her daughter’s suicide, offers practical advice for well-meaning friends and family who want to reach out and be supportive after a suicide, but aren’t sure what to do or say. 

Real Men Do Cry: A Quarterback’s Inspiring Story of Tackling Depression and Surviving Suicide Loss

Eric Hipple, with Dr. Gloria Horsley and Dr. Heidi Horsley. Quality of Life Publishing Co., 2008. Hipple, former NFL quarterback for the Detroit Lions and survivor of his 15 year-old son’s suicide, candidly shares his own lifelong struggle with depression, including his bankruptcy, imprisonment for drunk driving, and ultimate decision to seek treatment.  A practical guide for men and the women who care about them.

Red Chocolate Elephants: For children bereaved by suicide– Book & DVD

Diana Sands, Ph.D., Karridale, 2010. Red Chocolate Elephants is an activity book and DVD resource for children bereaved by suicide. In a world where children are often forgotten mourners, this unique combination of text, pictures, and voices– all in the words of bereaved children themselves– will be a treasured safe haven for young people to hear their fears, questions, and difficulties put into words by other children just like them. On the accompanying DVD, these same youngsters speak their words aloud as we see their drawings of their experience. The book and DVD are an excellent resource for parent and child to use together in trying to face the suicide of a loved one. This is also a valuable resource for those supporting children in schools and others therapeutic settings.

Remembering Garrett: One Family's Battle with a Child's Depression

United States Senator Gordon H. Smith, Caroll & Graf, 2006. A personal account by the U.S. Senator from Oregon, whose 21 year-old son took his own life, and whose speech on the Senate floor led to overwhelming bipartisan support for the passage of the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act, which increased federal funding to prevent youth suicide.

Rocky Roads: The Journeys of Families tTrough Suicide Grief

Michelle Linn-Gust, Ph.D., 2010, Chellehead Works?Any professional is fast to acknowledge that every person’s grief journey is a unique path. Still, Rocky Roads does attempt to present a roadmap—a loose trail to maneuver through, consider, and be forewarned of treacherous turns ahead. Rocky Roads is a unique presentation of a basic psychological autopsy of the “typical” family in crisis after a suicide. It is immensely helpful for all survivors, but perhaps vital for counselors who are faced with a family in crisis after a suicide.

Sanity & Grace: A Journey of Suicide, Survival, and Strength

Judy Collins, Tarcher/Penguin, 2003. A grieving mother and celebrity shares her own story about the loss of her son to suicide and her own struggle with mental illness.

Seeking Hope: Stories of the Suicide Bereaved

Michelle Linn-Gust, Ph.D., and Julie Cerel, Ph.D. Chellehead Works 2011. Features the stories of fourteen people in their own words of the losses that have forever changed their lives. In addition, the proceeds from the book benefit a fund for suicide bereavement research at the American Association of Suicidology. The aspiration is that the stories shared here will lead to helping others who also must travel the same journey seeking hope after a devastating loss.

Shadows on a Nameless Beach

Patricia Page, 2006, Pigeon Point Press. ?An endearing memoir about the author's son, Christopher Jeffrey Car. At 102 pages, this diminuitive book is a light and pleasant read for survivors of suicide, as well as anyone interested in the topic of loss.

Silent Grief: Living in the Wake of Suicide

Christopher Lukas and Henry Seiden, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2007. Co-authored by a psychologist and a survivor of multiple suicide losses, this book is written with sensitivity and understanding, and offers simple, constructive suggestions for healing along with straightforward information and a message of hope. 

Suicide and its Aftermath: Understanding and Counseling the Survivors

Edward Dunne, John McIntosh, and Karen Dunne-Maxim (Eds.), W.W. Norton and Company, 1987. This compilation of articles and essays captures various dimensions of the many different aspects of the experience of surviving after a suicide loss. Although written by and for professional counselors, it's very readable for the general public. 

Therapeutic and Legal Issues for Therapists Who Have Survived a Client Suicide: Breaking the Silence

Kayla Miriyam Weiner, The Haworth Press, Inc. 2005. This unique volume explores the firsthand experiences of “clinician-survivors”  -- mental health professionals who have lost clients and patients to suicide.

Suicide Survivors' Handbook– Expanded Edition 

Trudy Carlson, Benline Press, 2000. Providing specific suggestions and practical advice from other survivors, the author addresses the questions: Why? What about shame and guilt? How long does the pain last? What helps? How do you deal with others?

Suicide of a Child

Adina Wrobleski, Centering Corp., 2002. A basic guide for early bereavement after your child's suicide. Comfortable, compassionate, easy-to-read observations and personal messages.

Survivors of Suicide

Rita Robinson and Phyllis Hart, New Page Books, 2001. A compilation of advice and survivor stories.

Surviving Suicide: Help to Heal Your Heart--Life Stories from Those Left Behind

Heather Hays, 2005, Brown Books Publishing Group?The author, a survivor and an award-winning journalist writes her story as well as the story of other survivors.

Swallowed by a Snake: The Gift of the Masculine Side of Healing

Thomas R. Golden, Golden Healing Publishing, 1996. This book by a licensed clinical social worker explores the stereotypically “masculine” experience of grief. In the author’s words, “[a] man reading these pages will find a book that honors the uniqueness of a man’s path toward healing. A woman reading this book will benefit not only from gaining a deeper understanding of the men in her life, she will find herself in these pages.”

The Coldest Night: A Family's Experience of Suicide

Carol Anne Milton, 2009, Veritas Publications?. Carol Anne Milton takes us on an emotionally charged journey as she recounts her son Alan’s suicide. As she chronicles the events from the time she learned that her son had taken his life, through the aftermath of despair and grief, and ultimately her resolution to help others, her words pierce your chest and echo the tragedy of her loss in the chambers of your heart.

The Deafening Silence: A Memoir

Rosemarie Manes, 2003, First Books?Survivors of suicide and general readers alike will find much value in The Deafening Silence by Rosemarie Manes. This memoir, told from the vantage point of a bright and inquisitive 11 year-old who sustained the loss of her father to suicide during the mid-1950s, offers penetrating insights into the mental life of youthful survivors.

The Empty Chair: The Journey of Grief After Suicide

Beryl Glover, In Sight Books, 2000. The grief process as experienced by a variety of people dealing with different emotions following the suicide of a family member.

The Suicide Index: Putting My Father’s Death in Order

Joan Wickersham, Harcourt Inc., 2008. Wickersham uses an index -- that most orderly of structures -- to try to make sense of her father’s suicide. The family history, business failures and encounters with friends and doctors are assembled into a philosophical, deeply personal and beautifully-written exploration of the mystery of her father’s life and death.

The Wilderness of Suicide Grief: Finding Your Way

Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D. Companion Press, 2010. Using the metaphor of grief as wilderness, this guidebook, written by a grief counselor, offers ten succinct and easy to understand “wisdom teachings”, including: open to the presence of loss, misconceptions about suicide and grief, understanding six needs of mourning, and reaching out for help. An expanded version is available under the title, “Understanding Your Grief: Ten Touchstones of Finding Hope and Healing Your Heart” which can be used in conjunction with “The Understanding Your Suicide Grief Journal”, all by the same author.

Touched by Suicide: Hope and Healing After Suicide

Michael F. Myers & Carla Fine, 2006, Gotham?Dr. Micheal Myers, a psychiatrist, and Carla Fine, a suicide survivor and renowned author, have collaborated on an exciting and informational volume for those whose lives have been 'touched by suicide'.

Trying to Remember, Forced to Forget (My Father's Suicide)

Judith Raphael Kletter, 2001, Xlibris. ?After fifty-one years of not discussing her father's suicide to family or friends and with the death of her mother in 1998, the author began to delve into her past. In this compelling book, Ms. Kletter tells her traumatic story about how she found her father hanging from a rope when she was four years old and her mother's denial, telling her it was a bad dream - it never happened. As a result, Ms. Kletter was committed to a psychiatric institution for children. In this very personal and revealing book, she details how the suicide has affected her life, personality and relationships.

Vita's Will: Real Life Lessons About Life, Death & Moving On

Debbie Gisonni, 2000, Lincoln, NE: iUniverse.com (Writer's Club Press).? A high-tech executive finds humility, humor, and heart when four family members die in four years. Through these four deaths, Debbie learns to squeeze the sweetest wine from a bunch of sour grapes without wallowing in self-pity. Her advice works for any traumatic situation. You'll be moved to tears and laughter by her 44 inspirational real-life lessons nd her nightly chats with God.

What to Do When the Police Leave: A Guide to the First Days of Traumatic Loss

Bill Jenkins, 1999, WBJ Press.?This book provides much useful information to the surviving family members on how to deal with everything from the media to funeral arrangements. The chapters on grief responses give realistic examples of common reactions to losses to homicide, suicides, and tragic accidents. Recommended for survivors, mental health professionals, and caregivers.

When a Man Faces Grief/A Man You Know is Grieving: 12 Practical Ideas to Help You Heal From Loss

  Thomas Golden and James Miller.  Willowgreen Publishing 1998. This book focuses on grief in general (not grief after suicide per se), exploring the authors’ view of the “masculine side” of healing.  The book’s format is unique: the first half of the book provides guidance to the grieving man himself; turned upside down, the book then offers his family and friends advice on how best to help him.  The twelve suggestions in each half of the book are practical and straightforward.

When Suicide Comes Home: A Father's Diary and Comments

Paul Cox, 2002, Bolton Press Atlanta.?Paul Cox is a survivor of his son's suicide. His devastation touched off a flood of daily journaling which became this book. Readers will be swept along with Paul Cox's story and amazed at his honesty and candor. He proves that surviving is possible by facing every aspect of grieving head on and by taking a hard look at the truth, with an indomitable spirit.

Will's Choice: A Suicidal Teen, a Desperate Mother, and a Chronicle of Recovery

Gail Griffith, Harper, 2006.?Whether you suffer from depression, are the parent of a child who does, or are a mental health professional, it is no hyperbole to state that all will benefit from this most compelling read. The author writes about her experience with her son's depression and suicide attempt.

Years of the Elephant

Willy Linthout, Ponent Mon S.L., 2009.? Years of the Elephant is the illustrated autobiographical account of Willy Lithout and his journey following the suicide of Sam, his 21-year-old son in 2004.

Helping Children

After a Parent's Suicide: Helping Children Heal

Margo Requarth, Healing Hearts Press, 2006. Written by a bereavement counselor who lost her own mother to suicide when she was just under four years old, this book offers constructive, compassionate and clear suggestions for helping children.

After a Suicide: A Workbook for Grieving Kids 

Available through The Dougy Center. Developed for use with children, this workbook combines explanations of mental illness and suicide, creative exercises, practical advice, and quotations from child survivors.

Are You Like Me?

Helping Children Cope with Suicide Miki Tesh & Schleich, 2009, The Hospice of Florida Suncoast.?This booklet undertakes the difficult task of discussing suicide with children who have recently lost a loved one. Beginning by providing general definitional information regarding suicide, the text then quickly transitions to the topics of feelings children may experience in relation to suicide, questions which may remain after the death, and ways to relate to others in terms of emotions felt. The book addresses numerous common questions which children may have pertaining to these important topics.

Breaking the Silence

Linda Goldman, 1996, Taylor & Francis.?Provides a clear, concise and informative guide to helping children with complicated grief issues and provides strategies and referral resources for child grief issues. The text is understandable and user-friendly for parents and laypersons, as well as experienced clinicians.

But I Didn't Say Goodbye: For Parents and Professionals Helping Child Suicide Survivors 

Barbara Rubel, Griefwork Center, Inc., 2000. Told from the point of view of a child, this book is intended for adults to read and then share with children.

Child Survivors of Suicide: A Guidebook for Those Who Care for Them

Rebecca Parkin and Karen Dunne-Maxim, 1995. Available through AFSP. This practical guide offers guidance for family members, educators, and others who deal with young survivors. 

Children Also Grieve: Talking about Death and Healing

Linda Goldman (Jessica Kingsley, 2006). A children’s book with questions and places where children remember a loved one and learn about how to cope with loss.

Guiding Your Child Through Grief

Mary Ann Emswiler, M.A., M.P.S. & James P. Emswiller, M.A., M.Ed., 2000, Bantam.?Backed by the latest research in child psychology and filled with case histories, this title answers questions that parents and caregivers need to ask, such as: Is it normal for a child to act as if nothing has happened? Is an infant too little to understand the loss of a parent? Do children blame themselves for the death of a family member? Should I worry about a child dying by suicide after a death in the family?

Healing the Grieving Child's Heart: 100 Practical Ideas for Families, Friends & Caregivers

Alan Wolfelt, Ph.D., 2000, Companion Press.?Helpful to adults to understand grief and mourning in children.

Life and Loss: A Guide to Help Grieving Children

Linda Goldman, 1994, Taylor & Francis.?An information guide for helping children deal with general grief issues, as well as hands-on techniques for grief resolution. Useful for parents as well as clinical sessions by mental health professionals.

My Uncle Keith Died

Carol Ann Loehr, Trafford Publishing, 2006. Written in clear simple language easily understood by children, this book offers hope and practical ways to explain suicide to children. It explains the difference between sadness and depression, and describes how chemical imbalances in the brain cause illnesses that can result in suicide.

Someone I Love Died By Suicide: A Story for Child Survivors and Those Who Care for Them

Doreen Cammarata, Grief Guidance, Inc., 2000. An illustrated book that explains depression and suicide in child-friendly language.

The Invisible String by Patricia Karst (DeVorss, 2000). A simple children’s story about how we’re never alone even when separated from someone we love.

For Adolescents and Teenagers

After

 Francis Chalifour, Tundra, 2005. Nominated for the Canadian Governor General's Literary Awards 2005, this autobiographical novel tells the story of 15-year-old Francis, whose father took his own life. It explores Francis’s struggles with guilt, anger, profound sadness and search for hope, during the first year after his father’s suicide. 

After a Suicide: Young People Speak Up

Susan Kuklin, Putnam Publishing Group, 1994. Nine personal accounts of survivors, many of whom are teens. Each account focuses on a specific topic, such as losing a parent, losing a sibling, seeking therapy, support groups.

God and I Broke Up by Katarina Mazetti (Groundwood Books, 2005). A fictional account of a teen girl whose friend dies by suicide.

Journals

For adults:

I Remember…I Remember

by Enid Samuel Traisman (Centering, revised 2008).

The Understanding your Suicide Grief Journal: Exploring the Ten Essential Touchstones

by Alan D. Wolfelt Ph.D. (Companion Press, 2009). (This book is a companion to the book above of the same name.)

For teens:

Fire in My Heart, Ice in My Veins: A Journal for Teenagers Experiencing a Loss

(Centering, revised 2009).

Healing Your Grieving Heart Journal for Teens by Alan Wolfelt and Megan Wolfelt (Companion Press, 2002).

A Broken Heart Still Beats: After Your Child Dies Anne McCracken and Mary Semel, 1999, Hazeldon Publications.?This anthology of poetry, fiction, and essays compiled from the literature of loss and grief is remarkable. The authors have included pieces from everyone from William Shakespeare to Dwight D. Eisenhower whose works explore the shock, the grief, and the search for meaning that come with the death of a child. Each piece is clearly introduced explaining the details surrounding the person's loss.

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