Too Soon to Say Goodbye: Healing and Hope for Victims and Survivors of SuicideToo Soon to Say Goodbye: Healing and Hope for Victims and Survivors of Suicide
Susan Titus Osborn, Karen L. Kosman, Jeenie Gordon
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Every 16 minutes somebody in the United States chooses death by self-murder! Uniquely affected by suicide themselves, the authors explore its aftermath; address difficult questions; reaffirm God's love, compassion, and healing in times of sorrow; and offer encouragement to those considering suicide to choose life over death. Includes prayers, reflections, and real-life stories. 208 pages, softcover from New Hope.
     

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Q) Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?

A) I have been married for 25 years to my loving husband, John.  We share a blended family of seven adult children and grandchildren. My family and friends are precious to me. For many years, I worked in a medical lab of a major hospital. I was the training coordinator for new phlebotomist. I have always loved working with people and being an encourager. As an author, I write about finding hope in Christ. To bring renewal of hope to others, I love to write about God helped me to survive multiple traumas. He turned my pain into a sweet potpourri.

Q) How did you become interested in writing?

A) An illness and diagnosis of lupus forced me to retire before I wanted to. After asking God for guidance, He placed on my heart the desire to write. Two years after I began writing God took the lupus away. I believe he used the diagnosis to change the direction of my life. He knew that I would have a passion to write--something I didn't know about myself.


Q) What compelled you to write a book on this subject?

A) I lost my son from suicide. As I worked through my grief over the loss of my son, a deep desire to comfort others began. I wanted to reach out to other grieving parents, grandparents, siblings, and friends who had lost a loved one through suicide. I promise God I would do all that I could to prevent suicide. I began by interviewing other mothers who'd lost children. The desire for a book increased and became a reality.

Q) What is the main theme or point that you want readers to understand from reading your book? Are there any other themes present in the book?

A) God's love and mercy during times of sorrow and to help readers have a deeper compassion for those who suffer from mental illnesses.


Q) Are there some specific lessons you hope readers will learn and apply to their lives after reading your book?

A) 1) A deeper understanding for mental illness.

     2) Need to show compassion to families that have lost loved ones to suicide.

     3) To love and encourage depressed people to get help.

     4) That suicide is not an option--it brings an end to any opportunity for a happy future.

Q) Do you have  a favorite part of the book or a favorite chapter?

A) My favorite part is the dedication and letter to my son. Also, Chapter 12: Free to Live Again includes inspirational stories that demonstrate that nothing is impossible to God. He turns pain into something good and brings renewal and hope to the brokenhearted. He sets us free to live again in the wholeness we find in Christ.


Q) What makes your book different than other books similar to yours that are in circulation today?

A) Too Soon to Say Goodbye is more than a recovery book. It reveals truthful, life changing aspects surrounding suicide: inspirational stories from those who have lost loved ones, as well as stories from others who walked on the edge of suicide, but overcame depression and lived. The book offers hope, healing, and advice from a Christian therapist. Bible stories about life struggles and despair bring a deeper appreciation for God's love and mercy. Reflections and prayer at the conclusion of each chapter enfold the reader in the everlasting arms of the One who heals.

Q) How does the book intertwine with God's call on your life and how you are currently serving Him?

A) Too Soon to Say Goodbye is a book that helps to fulfill my promise to reach out to hurting hearts. It allows me to keep my promise to God to fight against suicide. I serve God by writing and speaking. Currently, I am working in a ministry called Celebrating Recovery.


Q) Do you have a favorite Scripture verse? What is it and why is it important to you?

A) "Praise be to the God and Father of Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all Comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God."
            ---2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV

Q) Are there any authors that either influenced you personally or influenced your style of writing? Who are they and how did they influence you?

A) I love Max Lucado's books. He writes in a compassionate, thought provoking way. He gets to the heart of his readers. And Cynthia Rowland McClure, author of Monster Within, taught me to never give up. She also taught me to trust my ability to write. Cynthia passed away 4 years ago, but her book continues to touch many hearts.


Q) When you are not writing, what do you like to do? Do you have any hobbies?

A) I like to spend time with my children and grandchildren. I love photography, reading, acting, and gardening.

Q) Thank you for taking the time to answer a few of our questions. As we close, is there anything else you would like to add?

A) Yes, God's plan for us is always greater than we could ever expect. He is able to provide everything we need to fulfill His purpose in our lives.