When Parents Need Help Recovering from a Suicide

Flowers growing out of the ashes of Mt. St. Helens

Flowers growing out of the ashes of Mt. St. Helens

September was Suicide Prevention Month. I know it’s October now, but I still wanted to share some great resources to help parents (or anyone) who is recovering from a suicide (or any death).  A dear friend of mine lost her husband to suicide a little over seven years ago. Her life has changed forever – so has her children’s. But as a result, God led her on a healing journey that resulted in her becoming a mental health counselor.

In this post I’m going to share her favorite books. Finding good resources to help with such a difficult grief isn’t easy. As Christians, we have a different world view that affects how we cope with death, but suicide is a horse of a different color.

These books offer quite a variety. Some are good for grieving any kind of death. Others are specific to parents who’ve lost a child to suicide. If you’ve found other resources on this subject, please leave a comment and share them. Along with counseling, books like these can help you find new life again out of  the ashes of your loss. Support groups can be another vital part of your grief journey. I’ll list several links to help you find one in your area.

Here’s her list, in alphabetical particular order:

A Grace Disguised: How the Soul Grows Through Loss, Jerry Sittser

A  Grief Observed, C. S. Lewis; A classic on the spiritual journey of grief.

Dying to be Free: A Healing Guide for Families after a Suicide, Beverly Cobain and Jean Larch

Experiencing Grief, H. Norman Wright; Grief and Trauma Counselor

Finding Your Way after the Suicide of Someone You Love, David B. Biebel, DMin. & Suzanne L. Foster, MA

Grieving a Suicide: A Loved One’s Search for Comfort, Answers & Hope, Albert Y. Hsu

No Time to Say Goodbye: Surviving the Suicide of a Loved One, Carla Fine

Recovering from Losses in Life, H. Norman Wright; Grief and Trauma counselor

Silent Grief: Living in the Wake of Suicide, Christopher Lukas and Henry M. Seiden

Song for Sarah: A Young Mother’s Journey Through Grief and Beyond, Paula D’Arcy

The Inner Voice of Love: A Journey Through Anguish to Freedom, Henri Nouwen

Through a Season of Grief: Devotions for Your Journey from Mourning to Joy, Bill Dunn and Kathy Leonard (Grief Share)

Turn My Mourning into Dancing: Finding Hope in Hard Times, Henri Nouwen

Understanding Your Suicide Grief: Ten Essential Touchstones for Finding Hope and Healing Your Heart, Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D.

When a Child Dies, Daniel T. Hans

When Grief Breaks Your Heart, James. W. Moore

When Heaven is Silent: Live by Faith Not by Sight, How God Ministers to us Through the Challenges of Life, Ronald Dunn

When You Lose Someone You Love, Richard M. Cromie, D.D., Ph.D.

With Open Hands, Henri Nowen; a book on prayer

**The title I underlined is my friend’s favorite book for suicide grief.


Support Groups for Suicide and Grief Recovery:

HalosHealing After a Loved One’s Suicide; suicide support group for parents in Florida; halosflorida.org

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention – help finding support groups, therapists, toll-free number if you are in crisis and more; afsp.org

GriefShare –  a 12 week grief recovery support group; faith-based; find a group near you; griefshare.org

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255  24/7 resource (including holidays) for those in crisis needing help and/or concerned loved ones; suicidepreventionlifeline.org


Dear God, please use these resources to encourage, comfort and help parents, family, and friends recover  from the impact of a suicide they’re grieving. Guide them to just the right book. Prompt them to reach out and find a support group in their community. Convince them that they do not need to be alone any longer on such a painful and life-changing journey. Remind them You are with them and You care.

Receive these comforting words from Sylvia Gunter:

“Be blessed with the comfort of the Lord for disappointment, pain, loss . . . grief, fears, and all negative emotions. Look into the face of your tender Abba to heal them all. Allow him to address your pain and minister his healing.”





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