In the aftermath of a suicide death, suicide attempt, or any experience that causes grief, there is often an overwhelming need to understand “why.” Literature can be helpful in processing these intense feeling. Find comfort and understanding in the words of these authors – many of whom have also treaded a similar grief journey after losing a loved one to suicide, or navigated life after an attempt or with a mental illness. This list also includes online resources for bereavement, mental illness, and suicide prevention.
Books for survivors of a loved one’s suicide:
- Bialosky, J. (2011). History of a suicide: My sister’s unfinished life.New York: Atria Books.
- Bolton, I. (1983). My Son … My Son …: A Guide to Healing After Death, Loss, or Suicide. Atlanta, GA: Bolton Press.
- Braun, N. (2009). No way to behave at a funeral: A tale of personal loss through suicide.Glen Waverley, Victoria, Australia: Sid Harta.
- Cobain, B., & Larch, J. (2006). Dying to be free: A healing guide for families after a suicide.Center City, MN: Hazelden.
- Fine, C. (1997). No time to say goodbye: Surviving the suicide of a loved one.Jackson, TN: Main Street Books.
- Hipple, E. (2008). Real men do cry: A quarterback’s inspiring story of tackling depression and surviving suicide loss.Naples, FL: Quality of Life.
- Linn-Gust, M. (2001). Do they have bad days in heaven?: Surviving the suicide loss of a sibling.Albuquerque: Chellehead Works.
- Linn-Gust, M., & Cerel, J. (2011). Seeking hope: Stories of the suicide bereaved.Albequerque: Cellehead Works.
- Myers, M. F., & Fine, C. (2006). Touched by suicide: Hope and healing after loss.New York: Penguin.
- Page, P. (2006). Shadows on a nameless beach.Pascadero, CA: Pigeon Point Press.
- Rubel, B. (1999). But I didn’t say goodbye: For parents and professionals helping child suivide survivors.Kendall Park, New Jersey: Griefwork Center.
- Spexarth, K. (2016). Passing Reflections Vol. 3: Surviving Suicide Loss Through Mindfulness. San Francisco, CA: Big Think Media.
Books for survivors of a suicide attempt:
- Heckler, R. A. (1994). Waking up, alive. New York: Grosset/Putnam.
- Hines, K., & Reidenberg, D. J. (2013). Cracked, not broken: Surviving and thriving after a suicide attempt.Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
- Wise, T. L. (2003). Waking up: Deciding to die, chosing to live.Weston, FL: Premier Education Solutions.
- Wise, T. L. (2012). Waking up: Climbing through the darkness.The Missing Peace.
Books about grief:
- Wolfelt, A. (2009). Understanding Your Grief: Ten Essential Touchstones for Finding Hope and Healing Your Heart. Fort Collins, CO: Companion Press.
Online Resources List
Photo credit: Sarah Rothman
Relevant Bereavement Websites:
- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
This organization is a great resource for information and support including opportunities to take action to memorialize your loved one.
- The Dougy Center
This resource offers support for grieving children and families including specific information and support for people bereaved by suicide. They have some great information about how to help children through the grieving process and what to expect from children who are grieving at different developmental stages.
- Managing Grief While in College
This guide will provide some insight into how college students may best manage their grief and highlight some of the many resources available to help them cope.
This website has resources for people dealing with grief of all kinds. It includes some specific information for those bereaved by suicide including an online chat.
- Navigating Family Life after a Suicide Attempt
The piece examines how a suicide attempt impacts the family unit and what help might parents need after their child attempts suicide. It answers questions that parents might have on addressing a suicide attempt with other children and how to be mindful as a child reenters the household.
Websites related to Suicide Prevention and Mental Illness:
- American Association of Suicidology–
AAS is a resource for information for survivors as well as professionals in the field of Suicidology.
- National Alliance on Mental Illness–
NAMI has all the information you are looking for about mental illness including its link to suicide. It is also a great resource for finding treatment and support in dealing with a mental illness.
- Now Matters Now
Online resource with information about suicide prevention and strategies about how to increase effectiveness and reduce stress in an effort to prevent suicide.
- Suicide Prevention Resource Center
This resource focuses on prevention including trainings for people of all kinds and best practices for professionals and has some specific information on LGBTQ and Native American populations.
- QPR Institute
QPR is a training developed by Paul Quinnett that anyone can take to become more effective and informed about preventing suicide in their community.
- Our Nation’s Young and Suicide
Risk factors and warning signs for youth.