Unfinished Conversation: Healing from Suicide and Loss

Unfinished Conversation: Healing from Suicide and Loss

Unfinished Conversation: Healing from Suicide and Loss

Unfinished Conversation: Healing from Suicide and Loss


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Unfinished Conversations is a story of profound grief and the journey to healing that followed. Based on a journal Robert Lesoine kept during the two years following the suicide of his best friend, Unfinished Conversations will help readers through the process of reflecting on and affirming the raw immediacy of survivors’ emotions. Each short chapter focuses on a different aspect of the author’s experience as he transforms his anger and guilt to understanding and forgiveness.

Licensed psychotherapist Marilynne Chöphel brings her professional background to Robert Lesoine’s deeply personal story to create an accessible path to self-directed healing based on mindful awareness and sound clinical practices. Readers work through their own grieving and healing process with end-of-chapter exercises and activities. An appendix and website, unfinishedconversation.com, provide additional resources to survivors.

The tools and techniques in Unfinished Conversations will help readers release past trauma, honor their relationship with their lost loved one, and find greater perspective, meaning, and well-being in their lives.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781937006457
Publisher: Parallax Press
Publication date: 08/27/2013
Pages: 176
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Robert Emile Lesoine, MA, Ed. is an educator, musician, and writer living in Santa Monica, CA, where he’s been teaching music in primary schools for 35 years. He’s the creator of two full-stage musicals, Body Snatchers: The Musical, and Last Night at Playland.

Marilynne Chöphel has been a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist for over 20 years, and specializes in the treatment of trauma. A yoga and meditation teacher as well, Chöphel’s work with survivors incorporates mindfulness and body-mind awareness. She is the mother of two adult sons and lives in San Rafael, California.

Table of Contents

Preface Shoshana Alexander xv

Chapter 1 The Journey Begins 3

Journal Exercises 7

Beginning Your Journal

First Reactions

About the Tool Kit for Your Journey to Healing

Chapter 2 Shock and Disbelief 9

Journal Exercises 11

Telling Others

The First Day

Beginning the Conversation

Chapter 3 Disregarded Warnings 13

Journal Exercises 18

Signs of Suicide

Contributing Factors

Last Contact

Remorse and Regret

Chapter 4 Unanswered Questions 21

Journal Exercises 24

Creating a Place of Honor


Attitudes about Suicide

Remembering Shared Pleasures


Chapter 5 Delving Deeper 27

Journal Exercises 30

Fear and Fearlessness

Depression as a Disease

Physical Pain

Treatment and Medication

Contributing Factors

Chapter 6 An Absence 33

Journal Exercises 36

Your Loved One's Place

The Means

Talking with Others

Individual Ways of Grieving

Chapter 7 Farewells 39

Journal Exercises 45

Suicide Notes

Continuing in Another Form

Words of Inspiration

Gathering to Say Farewell

Chapter 8 Getting Real 47

Journal Exercises 52

Creating Dialogues

Talking about the Hard Stuff

Guilt and Remorse

Unfinished Business

Staying Connected

Chapter 9 Emotional Roller Coaster 55

Journal Exercises 57

A Prayer for Your Loved One


Break in Belonging

Highs and Lows

Chapter 10 Trying to Understand 59

Journal Exercises 62

Becoming Curious

Relationships with Animals and Pets

Grieving Around Strangers

Transforming Shame

Chapter 11 Gaining Perspective 65

Journal Exercises 67

Depression and Reprieves

But Things Were Getting Better

Further Investigations

Chapter 12 Transitional States 69

Journal Exercises 73

Being In-Between

Negative and Positive Influences

Their Soul's Mission

After Death Beliefs

Peace … Be Still

Chapter 13 Revealing the Shadow 75

Journal Exercises 80

Your Loved One's Shadow

Gifts of the Shadow

Exploring Your Own Dark Side

Chapter 14 Gathering to Remember 83

Journal Exercises 87

Remembering or Creating a Memorial

The Uncensored Eulogy

Chapter 15 Abandoned 89

Journal Exercises 91

Reflecting on Dreams

Betrayal and Abandonment

Remembering through a Song or Poem

Chapter 16 Missing Pieces 93

Journal Exercises 99

Relationships: Love and Challenge

Questions for Others

Finding Supportive Connection

Chapter 17 Tracking the Unraveling 101

Journal Exercises 106

Life Review

Defining Moments

Qualities and Contributions

Chapter 18 Turning Point 109

Journal Exercises 114

The Healing Story

The Power of Place

Gifts and Lessons

Turning toward Acceptance

Chapter 19 Discovering Interbeing 117

Journal Exercises 121

Living on Inside You


The Good-bye Letter

Epilogue: Saying Good-bye to My Buddy 123

Journal Exercises 128

The Gift of Grieving Again

Recreating the Final Hours

Ongoing Conversation

Paying It Forward

Reclaiming Your Life


1 Tool Bat for Your Journey to Healing 133

2 Creating Support 147

3 Clinical Theory Behind Unfinished Conversation's Healing Process 153

4 Resources for Survivors of Suicide 157

5 Resources for Suicide Prevention 163

6 Readings to Support Your Journey to Healing 167

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