The death of a loved one by suicide is a life-changing and traumatic event that affects many people. Over the past several years, suicide has been the eleventh leading cause of death for Americans. It is estimated that there are over 4.5 million Americans who have lost a loved one to suicide.
In, "Life after Suicide: Survival, Hope and Healing," Cynthia L. Long offers direction and resources to suicide survivors and to those who want to be supportive to survivors. This resource is full of stories of individuals who have embraced their grief and "survived" following a suicide death. Despite the stigma of suicide in America, this invaluable resource was written because many survivors wanted their stories to be told in hopes that their experience might help others who are walking a similar path.
Written from a Christian perspective, this resource will help the reader learn that survival, hope, and healing are attainable. The author covers such topics as:
Misconceptions and Risk Factors about Suicide
Stories and Emotions of Survivors
Faith, the Church, and Suicide
Survival, Hope, and Healing
God empowers us to companion those who are hurting. "Life after Suicide" gives tips on how to avoid cliches and euphemisms when talking to the bereaved and offers study guide questions at the end of each chapter. This resource is a "must buy" for anyone who knows someone whose life has been affected by a suicide death -- both survivors and friends who want to support survivors.
Cynthia L. Long is a Grief Support Specialist for Lutheran Family Services of Virginia and the Chaplain at Western State Hospital in Staunton, Virginia. Long has served in pastoral positions in Lutheran congregations in Virginia and Pennsylvania and has taught Sociology of Death and Dying at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. She received her Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in Columbia, South Carolina, and her Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) degree from Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. Long has also authored "Death is No Stranger: Helping Children Grieve" (CSS Publishing).