Too Soon to Say Goodbye: Healing and Hope for Victims and Survivors of Suicide
The pager began buzzing. The fog in my head tried to clear quickly. I checked the number as I stumbled to the phone. 2.35 AM on Sunday. Man, why does it always have to be this time of the morning... and a Sunday no less. I dialed the number. "Pastor Sorensen here; I'm on call and received the page." "The police have requested your presence at..." and she proceeded to give me the address. As I drove to the northwest part of town I had no idea what to expect. I'd only been a volunteer chaplain for a few weeks. This was my second call.When I arrived, the officer on scene told me a young man, age 19, had placed a shotgun in his mouth and pulled the trigger. The family was upstairs, gathered around the kitchen table. Fortunately, they wouldn't allow me in the boy's room. I went to meet with the family. "What can I say at this point that will make sense and bring any comfort?" I asked myself.Having read this very helpful book by Osborn, Kosman and Gordon, I don't know if I would have had any magic words for that moment. I do know this: I would have been more well-equipped to help them, especially after the fact, to deal with grief, anger, denial and the many other stages those who remain following a suicide. This is a well-written book by women who have dealt with suicide either from their own family's experience or through the many hours of counseling others. Filled with heart-breaking and moving personal anecdotes, real-life reflections, questions to ask in order to help and draw out, insights from Jeenie Gordon, the professional counselor "onboard," and even some uplifting poetry, this book belongs on the shelves of pastors' libraries, youth pastors' libraries and church libraries. Its resourcefulness will prove itself over and over again.I highly recommend this book.
May 19, 2010
"Too Soon to Say Goodbye" is a book for those whose lives have been touched by suicide or who are experiencing suicidal thoughts. The book was mainly made up of stories a page or two long written by people who have lost a loved one or friend to suicide, who have considered suicide, or who have helped people who are suicidal. There was some connecting commentary, & the two counseling professionals drew out the important points made in these stories.This was a Christian book, so Scripture was used to help people find or hold on to the hope they have in Christ. I liked the biblical points they brought out. (For those wanting to know, the authors don't think that someone who commits suicide automatically goes to hell, & they gave biblical reasons to support their position.)Chapters 1-5 were mainly about the various stages of grief that the loved ones and friends of someone who committed suicide go through and how to find healing when people around you don't know how to react or offer comfort. This section is also useful for those who want to know how to best help and comfort someone who has lost a loved one to suicide.Chapters 6-10 touched on the main causes of suicide (depression, divorce, bi-polar disorder, etc.). The stories were mainly by those who almost committed suicide but pulled back from the edge (and how that occurred and what their life is like today) and by those who helped save someone from suicide (either before they tried it or when they were in the middle of the act).The focus of this book was to let those who are struggling know that there are others out there who have gone through the exact same things and how they made it. I'd recommend this book to anyone dealing with a suicide of a loved one or wanting to comfort those who have lost a loved one to suicide. This book would be beneficial for those struggling with suicidal thoughts but probably isn't enough.I received this book as a free review copy from the publisher.
February 9, 2010
All three authors of Too Soon To Say Goodbye have either had a loved one commit suicide, contemplate it, or have worked professionally with those individuals on both sides of the horrific aftermath. Sensitively written, this writing team offers substantive hope and practical helps for all individuals who are trying to untangle the complicated heartache that follows any suicide. Read this text for yourself and for everyone you love.
January 26, 2010