Grieving a Suicide: A Loved One's Search for Comfort, Answers & Hope

Overview

A 2003 Finalist in the United Kingdom Christian Book Awards!

Every seventeen minutes, someone in the United States dies by suicide. It is one of the most serious public health crises of modern times, claiming over one million lives worldwide every year.

Those who have lost a loved one to suicide experience tremendous shock and trauma, with a confusing mix of emotions--anger, guilt, grief and despair. Suicide also raises heartrending questions: ...

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Grieving a Suicide: A Loved One's Search for Comfort, Answers & Hope

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Overview

A 2003 Finalist in the United Kingdom Christian Book Awards!

Every seventeen minutes, someone in the United States dies by suicide. It is one of the most serious public health crises of modern times, claiming over one million lives worldwide every year.

Those who have lost a loved one to suicide experience tremendous shock and trauma, with a confusing mix of emotions--anger, guilt, grief and despair. Suicide also raises heartrending questions: Why did this happen? Why didn't we see it coming? Many also wonder if those who choose suicide are doomed to an eternity separated from God and loved ones. Some may even start asking whether life is worth living at all.

After his father's death by suicide, Albert Hsu wrestled with the intense emotional and spiritual questions surrounding suicide. While acknowledging that there are no easy answers, Hsu draws on the resources of the Christian faith to point suicide survivors to the God who offers comfort in our grief and hope for the future.

If you have lost a loved one to suicide or provide pastoral care to those left behind, this book is an essential companion for the journey toward healing.

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Editorial Reviews

CBA Marketplace (August 2002)
"The author does an outstanding job exploring his own emotions and spiritual responses to this tragedy. Hsu opens this poignant and informative book with five chapters devoted to the initial aftermath suicide survivors must face. He breaks these key journey-points into five parts: shock, turmoil, lament, relinquishment, and remembrance. Hsu also tackles the toughest questions survivors ask, 'Why?', 'Can suicide be forgiven?' and 'Where is God?' This remarkable resource will surely meet the needs of those dealing with a loved one's suicide. Hsu's words fairly shine with the one commodity most needed at times of such immense pain--hope."
Christian Retailing (July 3
"Hsu gives those who have lost loved ones this way a helpful handbook for dealing with the shock, denial, grieving, the ever-present question 'why' and the awful finality of a sudden death. This book will help survivors understand they are not alone in their suffering. Hsu offers excellent advice on how to move from the grieving period into the recovery period and, finally, into the remembering period. While some of the stories, and Hsu's personal experience, will make you cry, this is a must-have book for anyone who is a suicide survivor. By the time readers finish the book, they will know, thanks to Hsu's encouraging style of writing, they will be able to go on."
Booklist (July 2002)
"Hsu's wise, bittersweet, intelligently written book relates his own coping with unexpected, violent death and compassionately examines the emotional and theological issues of suicide. . . . Respecting his readers--for instance, by acknowledging individual differences in grieving--Hsu encourages remembering while lamenting and realizing that one will never know what could have been. He addresses such difficult, unanswerable questions as 'Why did it happen?' and 'Could anything have prevented it?' while exploring the morality of suicide and the problem of forgiving the suicide with great sensitivity and care. Suffering, he concludes, is part of the human condition. Rather than pondering 'unfathomable mysteries,' it is better to do one's best to achieve relief. Despite suffering, one can still find meaning, connect with others, and hope that good can come from pain and healing from grief. Strongly recommended for those who have lost a loved one to suicide."
Everett L. Worthington
"In Grieving a Suicide, Al Hsu has done what few can do. He has created a thoughtful, empathic, spiritually ennobling and practically helpful account of his response to the loss of his father by suicide. Al's journey shows how suffering, when we know the Lord, can mature us. I started merely to scan the book just before leaving for a trip, and drawn into the narrative, I read it straight through by the time my flight was finished. Wow!"
Barbara Johnson
"I think the material in this book will be a godsend. . . . It is a solid handbook to propel the reader through the anguish that suicide brings on. This is unlike any other book on this particular subject and will prove to be a must-read for counselors, as well as stricken families."
CBA Marketplace
"The author does an outstanding job exploring his own emotions and spiritual responses to this tragedy. Hsu opens this poignant and informative book with five chapters devoted to the initial aftermath suicide survivors must face. He breaks these key journey-points into five parts: shock, turmoil, lament, relinquishment, and remembrance. Hsu also tackles the toughest questions survivors ask, 'Why?', 'Can suicide be forgiven?' and 'Where is God?' This remarkable resource will surely meet the needs of those dealing with a loved one's suicide. Hsu's words fairly shine with the one commodity most needed at times of such immense pain—hope."
(July 2002) - Booklist
"Hsu's wise, bittersweet, intelligently written book relates his own coping with unexpected, violent death and compassionately examines the emotional and theological issues of suicide. . . . Respecting his readers—for instance, by acknowledging individual differences in grieving—Hsu encourages remembering while lamenting and realizing that one will never know what could have been. He addresses such difficult, unanswerable questions as 'Why did it happen?' and 'Could anything have prevented it?' while exploring the morality of suicide and the problem of forgiving the suicide with great sensitivity and care. Suffering, he concludes, is part of the human condition. Rather than pondering 'unfathomable mysteries,' it is better to do one's best to achieve relief. Despite suffering, one can still find meaning, connect with others, and hope that good can come from pain and healing from grief. Strongly recommended for those who have lost a loved one to suicide."
Christian Retailing
"Hsu gives those who have lost loved ones this way a helpful handbook for dealing with the shock, denial, grieving, the ever-present question 'why' and the awful finality of a sudden death. This book will help survivors understand they are not alone in their suffering. Hsu offers excellent advice on how to move from the grieving period into the recovery period and, finally, into the remembering period. While some of the stories, and Hsu's personal experience, will make you cry, this is a must-have book for anyone who is a suicide survivor. By the time readers finish the book, they will know, thanks to Hsu's encouraging style of writing, they will be able to go on."
Publishers Weekly
This guide for suicide survivors family and friends of people who took their own lives maintains InterVarsity Press's tradition of cerebral evangelicalism: it is biblical, well reasoned, clearly presented and thoroughly researched. Such a head-over-heart presentation is not surprising, since the author is an IVP editor. An unexpected bonus is the personal thread Hsu weaves through each chapter, the story of his own deep grief at his father's sudden suicide four years ago. In the book's first section, Hsu explores the emotions of grief from sudden shock to eventual remembrance. Though his map of grieving differs from the familiar one proposed by Elisabeth K bler-Ross, Hsu never minimizes grief's importance. "Only when we actively mourn will we be able to receive the comfort that God and others offer," he writes. Nevertheless, "those without [Christian] hope grieve in one way; those with hope grieve in another." The Christian way of grieving is Hsu's focus in the latter half of the book, where he surveys Scripture to deal with questions such as whether people who die by suicide can go to heaven, where God is when tragedy strikes and what can be learned from suicide. With its careful biblical exposition presented in a friendly homiletic style, Hsu's how-to-think-about-suicide book will have value for evangelical pastors and counselors as much as perhaps even more than for the bereaved themselves. (July) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780830823185
  • Publisher: InterVarsity Press
  • Publication date: 6/11/2002
  • Pages: 180
  • Sales rank: 311,155
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Albert Y. Hsu (pronounced "shee") is senior editor for IVP Books at InterVarsity Press, where he acquires and develops books in such areas as culture, discipleship, church, ministry and mission. He is also a PhD student in educational studies at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois.

Al is the author of Singles at the Crossroads, Grieving a Suicide and The Suburban Christian. He has been a writer and columnist for Christianity Today and served as senior warden on the vestry of Church of the Savior in Wheaton, Illinois. He and his wife, Ellen, have two sons and live in the western suburbs of Chicago.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: For Survivors--the Other Victims of SuicidePart 1: When Suicide Strikes
1. Shock
2. Turmoil
3. Lament
4. Relinquishment
5. RemembrancePart 2: The Lingering Questions
6. Why Did This Happen?
7. Is Suicide the Unforgivable Sin?
8. Where Is God When It Hurts?Part 3: Life After Suicide
9. The Spirituality of God
10. The Healing Community
11. The Lessons of Suicide
Epilogue: Going On
Acknowldegements
Appendix: Resources for Suicide Survivors and Suicide Prevention
Notes
Index
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2012

    Highly recommend

    My brother took his life one month ago today and while it's not yet any easier, this book has helped me out in several ways. It made me realize everyone grievs in their own way and made me take a step back and realize that I was going through several of the "stages" all at once and around and back again. It helped me to sort out my feelings and really come to a true understanding of the trauma and stress my mind and body are under. I showed it to my grief counselor and she agreed it is very well written. I have read the book all the way through even though I am no where near the "acceptance" stage. I'm not yet ready to move on but the book also gave me hope that there will eventually be light at the end. I will never go back to "normal". I will have a new "normal".

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2006

    One of the best

    I have read many books searching for help dealing with my father's suicide, but this was the best I have found. While Hsu does talk about his father's suicide, he doesn't do it in excess, so that people dealing with other suicides can also find his book helpful. Alot of the feelings he expressed were exactly how I feel. My world exploded when I saw my father had killed himself. And like almost all suicide survivors, I look to other people who have already dealt with a loved one's suicide in hopes of learning how to get through it. This book was a tremendous help in that regard.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2003

    Every little bit helps

    I feel weird "reviewing" this book, but I wanted to let anyone who views this page know that this book saved my life after my cousin committed suicide. Please buy, borrow, or check out a copy if you are dealing with the loss of a loved one by suicide. Sometimes just hearing someone else's experience with what you are going through can save you from further misery, and suicide survivors suffer from the ultimate misery. I'm not normally big on this type of book, but this one was written with a lot of compassion and personal experience, and thus is very effective.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2014

    this book is a Godsend. It saved me after my brother took his o

    this book is a Godsend. It saved me after my brother took his own life. It is wonderful because it is from a Christian point of view. It really does bring comfort, I have read it and am in the process of re-reading it

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    Posted March 17, 2010

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    Posted February 2, 2011

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