In the three-part Frantic Book Series, survivor Missy Palrang shares her journal entries from the year following her husband’s death by suicide. Part II, Frantic Caged, describes her daily life during months four through six after his death. Her emotions aren’t as raw as in the previous months, but anger, sarcasm, and fear have begun to take hold. The fog that enveloped her in the beginning is lifting and the reality of her situation starts to set in. She describes her attempts to find stability by learning to perform chores previously delegated to her husband, by stepping back from survivor groups, and even starting the dating process after 25 years of being out of the market.
Missy’s therapist, Jill McMahon, continues to offer her perspective throughout these passages. Jill draws on her 18 years of experience working with survivors. She continues to share common reactions, feelings, and behaviors survivors may encounter during the healing process.
This is a continuation of Missy’s story of healing. Each survivor will walk their own path. It’s her hope that by sharing her unfiltered experience, others will find comfort on their own road to recovery.
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About the Author
Missy grew up in Idaho with her younger siblings, Karen and Mike. She received a four-year basketball scholarship to attend Tulane University and she received her Bachelor’s Degree in 1987. In 1988, while studying for her Master’s Degree at Oregon State University, she met Scott McComb. They married in 1991. Missy got a job working for the Benton County Sheriff’s Office as a parole officer shortly after graduation, although life was determined to take her elsewhere. In 1997, she began taking helicopter lessons and completed her Commercial Pilot Certification and Instructor Ratings one year later. She began working for Quantum Helicopters in 1998 where she has been the Chief Flight Instructor since 2000. She oversees the flight operations at one of the largest and busiest helicopter flight schools in the country. Missy has also been an FAA Designated Pilot Examiner for over 15 years, one of only a hand full of helicopter DPE’s in the state of Arizona. In her spare time Missy enjoys going to the gym several times a week, cooking, reading fiction novels, and traveling. She explores her world both from the skies and on earth. Her favorite destinations so far include the Galapagos Islands, Australia, and Tahiti. She loves to take cruises and has enjoyed about ten.
Jill McMahon is a licensed professional counselor focusing her work on grief and loss. She has specialized in working with Survivors of Suicide for the last 17 years. She helped to build the LOSS (Local Outreach for Suicide Survivors) Program through EMPACT Suicide Prevention Center. This prevention program provides support services for Survivors of suicide from the inception of death, often times comforting families at the scene of a suicide. Jill can also be found providing suicide prevention presentations and trainings around the community, as well as speaking about Survivors of Suicide and complicated grief, nationally and internationally. She has been featured on several podcasts, and has helped to provide information for several publications. Jill's private practice, Spring Returns Counseling Services, can be found in Scottsdale, AZ. Through this practice she focuses on helping families maneuver this unique and complicated loss. She realizes no one is exempt from the complicated loss of someone to suicide, and the effects left behind are often tangled and complex. She believes each person closely related to a sudden loss has experienced a trauma and should be treated as such.