But I Didn't Say Goodbye: Helping Families After a Suicide
by Barbara Rubel, MA
This is an extraordinary and innovative resource that takes a difficult topic and creates a manageable path to follow in providing validation and real help for suicide survivors. This 3rd edition is completely revised and updated, especially for the professional or those who help suicide survivors. Paperback, 222 pages.
SYNOPSISWhat 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 can't 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!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 will see the transformation of feelings after going through a death by suicide.New to the third 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 will understand what losing someone to suicide might be like for a family, how to make meaning in the loss, and ways to experience personal growth. This self-help book was revised to provide guidance and education for clinicians (e.g., mental health providers, social workers, psychologists, school counselors, and case managers) and families to help suicide loss survivors.Part 1 offers a basic understanding of suicide postvention, suicide loss survivors, complicated grief, mourning theories, the American death system, and the impact on clinician survivors. Chapters have been substantially updated, based on mourning models and the latest research.The chapters in Part 2 build upon one another sequentially, from the day of the suicide to the anniversary of the death. At the end of each chapter, there are follow-up questions to explore in counseling sessions, support groups, therapy sessions, or at home. Also, at the end of each chapter, Alex, at the age of 21, reflects back on how his father’s death by suicide has changed his life, wounding him, but also helping him to grow.Barbara Rubel, MA, BCETS, D.A.A.E.T.S. is the author of But I Didn't Say Goodbye: Helping Families After a Suicide (3rd ed.) (off press January 6th 2020); and author of Loss, Grief, and Bereavement: Helping Individuals Cope (4th ed.), a 30 hour continuing education course book for nurses, available through Western Schools.She is a Diplomate, American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress in collaboration with the National Center for Crisis Management