Suggested Reading - Survivor Support

If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call:

988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline (English)988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline (Spanish)
Visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline website.

Notice: The Office of Suicide Prevention website is informational and not intended as a crisis response or hotline. 

Books for Survivors of Suicide Loss

A Mother's Story by Gloria Vanderbilt - published by Random House, NY (1996)

This socialite author tells a tragic story and her coming to grips with her pain of losing her son to suicide with suggestions of how all of us can - and why we must - survive the worst that can happen.

A Special Scar, The Experiences of People Bereaved by Suicide by Alison Wertheimer -published by Tavistock/Routledge, NY (1991)

The author lost her sister to suicide. This book looks in detail at the stigma surrounding suicide and offers practical help for survivors. Fifty bereaved people tell their own stories, showing us that by not hiding the truth from themselves and others, they have been able to learn to live with suicide.

After Suicide by John H. Hewett - published by Westminster Press, Philadelphia, PA (1980)

For those struggling to cope in the aftermath of a suicide, this book presents the facts and demonstrates how to deal with feelings of guilt, anger, bewilderment, and shame. It shows how to live as survivors of suicide, how to explain the event to children, and how to reconcile the death with religious beliefs.

After Suicide Loss: Coping with Your Grief by Bob Baugher, Ph.D. and Jack Jordan, Ph.D. - published by Sturbridge Group (2002)

This book for people who have lost a loved one to suicide is written by two experienced grief counselors. Designed to provide support and information through the first year of grief, it is organized chronologically, with sections on the first few days, few weeks, few months, and beyond the first year.

Andrew, You Died Too Soon by Corinne Chilstrom - published by Augsburg Fortress (1993)

In the most simple, straightforward language, this mother tells the heart's story: the love for her son which had to continue without that son; the embrace of speechless grief and of a murmuring, speaking community; the deep, spiritual events that occurred for her and her family when one son took his life.

Breaking the Silence by Mariette Hartley - published by Mass Market, NY (1991)

This sensitive and witty actress has written openly and honestly. After Mariette's father died by gunshot, she and her mother kept his suicide a secret for years. Once Mariette told her story she became "the spokesperson for suicide survivors" telling her poignant story over and over to help survivors and to promote the prevention of suicide.

Dead Reckoning: A Therapist Confronts His Own Grief by David C. Treadway, Ph.D. - published by Basic Books, NY (1996)

David's mother died by suicide and now David writes about his journey of grief after 27 years of avoidance. A profound and moving memoir revealing the many layers of pain and denial that can build up in a family after a suicide. The author finds the courage to face his ghosts, take off his protective layers and reconnect with his family.

Healing After the Suicide of a Loved One by Ann Smolin CSW & John Guinan - a Fireside Book published by Simon & Schuster, NY (1993)

A very informative book that provides suicide survivors with insights into the emotional responses they may be experiencing. The authors are direct and honest as they offer support, hope, and permission to go on with life.

His Bright Light, The Story of Nick Traina by Danielle Steel - published by Delacorte, NY (1998)

This very famous author of fiction shares the heartbreaking true story of her struggle to help her brilliant and talented manic-depressed son, Nick, find help during his troubled short life that ended in suicide in 1997 at the age of 19.

Knowing Why Changes Nothing by Eva Lager with Sascha Wagner - published by Options Publishing, 6 Meredith Way, Dianella W. A. 6059 Australia (1997)

Both lost daughters to suicide. A moving diary of a grieving mother struggling to grasp the awful reality of her daughter's sudden and tragic death. The joint venture of Eva and Sascha is a landmark in the literature of bereaved parents. Sascha's poetry fit perfectly with Eva's sensitive entries.

Life After Suicide - A Ray of Hope for Those Left Behind by Eleanora "Betsy" Ross - published by Lynn Publishing, Iowa City, IA (1986).

Mourning After Suicide by Lois a. Bloom - published by The Pilgrim Press, Cleveland, OH (1986)

My Son, My Son: A Guide To Healing After A Suicide In The Family by Iris Bolton with Mitchell C. Bolton - published by Bolton Press (l983).

No Time To Say Goodbye, Surviving the Suicide of a Loved One by Carla Fine - published by Doubleday, NY (1997)

The author shares her own journey of grief following the suicide death of her physician husband and she also integrates the voices of others who have endured the desolation of a loved one's suicide.

Silent Grief: Living in the Wake of Suicide by Christopher Lucas and Henry M. Seiden, PhD. - published by Bantam Books, NY (1989)

A survivor and a psychologist offer support and advice for getting past the grief - and moving on. This book also deals with the multitude of reasons people don't talk about suicide. C. Lucas lost his mother to suicide.

Stronger Than Death: When Suicide Touches Your Life by Sue Chance, M.D., published by W. W. Norton & Co., NY (1997)

A psychiatrist shares the life and suicide death of her only child and her personal struggle to cope with this tragic event.

Suicide Survivors: A Guide For Those Left Behind by Adina Wrobleski - published by Afterwords Publishing, Minneapolis, MN (1991)

Helpful and insightful information for suicide survivors - honest, open, and easy to read. It is probably one of the best, most accurate, books ever published on suicide/suicide grief. Adina Wrobleski is an expert on suicide, having spent many years studying the subject, after her daughter died by suicide. Reading this book might be a good "first step" for someone beginning the arduous journey of trying to work through suicide grief.

Survivors of Suicide by Rita Robinson - published by Newcastle Publishing (1989)

Survivors of Suicide is a helping guide for those family and friends left behind when a loved one commits suicide. This newly revised edition goes into more detail about teen suicide and the help that is available, and dispels the myths surrounding suicide.

Suicide: Why? by Adina Wrobleski

Suicide Why? is an excellent, very informative book on suicide. Adina Wrobleski, using her extensive knowledge and insight takes much of the mystery out of the most misunderstood subject. She explains, through the books question and answer format, what society must know in order to save lives. This book is also a good place for a suicide survivor to start when trying to find answers to the many questions he/she may have after the loss of a loved one by suicide.

The Grief Recovery Handbook by John W. James & Russell Friedman - published by Harper Collins (1998)

Incomplete recovery from grief can have a lifelong negative effect on your capacity for happiness. Drawing from their own histories, as well as from others, the authors illustrate what grief is and how it is possible to recover, regain energy and spontaneity. Based on a proven program, this life-changing handbook offers the specific actions needed to complete the grieving process and accept the loss.

Words I Never Thought To Speak: Stories of Life in the Wake of Suicide by Victoria Alexander - published by Lovington Books (1991)

First person accounts of parent, child, brother, sister, spouse, lover and therapist as they struggle through the pain-laden conflicted months and years of bereavement after a suicide of a loved one.