Every year on September 10th, individuals and organizations in over 50 countries connect and work together to prevent suicide, by supporting those who are struggling and to help those who are grieving. This year we will address this topic with Barbara Rubel the author of the fictional novel “But I Didn’t Say Goodbye – Helping Families after a Suicide”. In her reader-friendly and well-researched book, she addresses the loss of her father through suicide in a meaningful and thought provoking read, and discusses WHAT she learned in the process of grieving and healing.
Barbara shares her unique approach to suicide prevention and post-vention, on how can develop personal resiliency and reclaim hope after loss.
Whether you know someone who has attempted or completed suicide, or felt so much despair that you have considered it yourself … we want to open up the dialogue today about this important topic.
Let’s start by clarifying that whatever is going on in your life today, the pain of the moment can elevate us to open up and there are many people and sources of information that can provide relief. We will begin the conversation with two numbers and resource links so we have a safe reference point right from the start:
In Canada: https://suicideprevention.ca/WSPD 1-833-456-4566
In the U.S.: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ 1-800-273-8255
- The WHY of suicide
- Reflect on feelings of anger, guilt and grief
- Barbara’s own experience of losing her father to suicide and how she was able to reconstruct meaning into her life after such a sudden loss
- Learn about her unique Dual Process Model and 4 Tasks of Grief and apply them to the impact of suicide loss
- Does the current COVID-19 pandemic complicate grief from suicide of someone in your life?
Barbara reflects from the lens of her own tragic loss and personal experience.
What do you do when your father dies by suicide while you are in the hospital awaiting the birth of your triplets? What do you do when you cannot attend your father’s funeral because physician orders include complete bed rest? What do you do when you realize that you experienced a devastating loss and that you are not alone in that experience? You write a book and dedicate your life to helping others affected by suicide.
Barbara Rubel’s fictional characters in “But I Didn’t Say Goodbye” are a compilation of what individuals may experience throughout their lifetime as a suicide loss survivor. “But I Didn’t Say Goodbye: Helping Families after a Suicide” tells the story, from the perspective of an eleven-year-old boy Alex and his family, as they are rocked by suicide and reeling from the aftermath. Through Alex’s eyes, the reader sees the transformation of feelings after going through death by suicide.
New to the book’s 3rd edition, each chapter ends with Alex reflecting 10 years later on his experience, introducing family members and friends in his recollections. Barbara Rubel has combined our modern academic theories of grieving, and the research that supports those theories, and then translated them into a readable story for anyone bereaved by suicide. The revised edition is an evidence-informed and contemporary treatment of a devastating form of loss that uses the artful device of a hypothetical case study to render it in human terms.
Through the story, the reader understands what losing someone to suicide might be like for a family, how to make meaning of the loss, and ways to experience personal growth. This self-help book was revised to provide guidance and education for clinicians and families to help suicide loss survivors.
Links & Resources:
- But I Didn’t Say Goodbye: Helping Families After a Suicide (3ed.) (2020), NJ: Griefwork Center, Inc. https://amzn.to/2FwS6JI
- Loss, Grief, and Bereavement: Helping Individuals Cope (4ed) (2019), MA: Western Schools
Access “Compassion Fatigue Resiliency & Recovery” with Dr. Anna Baranowsky & Dr. J. Eric Gentry. You can find the audio recording at:
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