Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Too Soon to Say Goodbye by Osborn, Kosman, Gordon

book cover

Too Soon to Say Goodbye
Susan Titus Osborn, MA;
Karen L. Kosman;
Jeenie Gordon, MS, MA, LMFT

Trade Paperback: 207 pages
Publisher: New Hope Press
First Released: 2010

Source: Review copy from the publisher.

Back Cover Description:
Suicide touches too many.

You may have lost a loved one or friend to suicide. Maybe at some time in your life you were suicidal, or you know someone who is depressed. In these pages, you'll find stories shared by people who have walked where you are now. They are ordinary people who have overcome the darkness that invaded their lives. Light shines for them once again, and it can for you, too.

*Real-life stories of hope and redemption
*Questions for reflection
*Inspiring Scripture
*Insights from a counseling professional
*Uplifting poetry

Too Soon to Say Goodbye is a book of hope and healing for those whose lives have been touched by suicide or who are experiencing suicidal thoughts. The book was mainly made up of stories a page or two long written by people who have lost a loved one or friend to suicide, who have considered suicide, or who have helped people who are suicidal. There was some connecting commentary, and the two counseling professionals drew out the important points made in these stories.

This was a Christian book, so Scripture was used to help people find or hold on to the hope they have in Christ. I liked the biblical points they brought out. (For those wanting to know, the authors don't think that someone who commits suicide automatically goes to hell, and they gave biblical reasons to support their position.)

Chapters one through five were about the various stages of grief that the loved ones and friends of someone who committed suicide go through and how to find healing when people around you don't know how to react or offer comfort. This section is also useful for those who want to know how to best help and comfort someone who has lost a loved one to suicide.

Chapters six through ten touched on the main causes of suicide (depression, divorce, bi-polar disorder, etc.). The stories were mainly by those who almost committed suicide but pulled back from the edge (and how that occurred and what their life is like today) and by those who helped save someone from suicide (either before they tried it or when they were in the middle of the act).

The last two chapters were stories of those whose loved one committed suicide and covered how they dealt with the grief long-term and how they've healed.

If you're looking for a clinical book of facts about suicide, then this is not the right book for you. The focus of this book is to let those who are struggling know that there are others out there who have gone through the exact same things and how they made it--that there is hope. Some of the facts about suicide come out, by they weren't the focus of the book.

I'd recommend this book to anyone dealing with a suicide of a loved one or who wants to comfort those who have lost a loved one to suicide. While this book would be beneficial for those who are struggling with suicidal thoughts, this book alone probably isn't enough. (If you're looking for additional books, What To Do When You Don't Know What To Do is a quick, practical book that has a good section on depression.)

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt from Chapter Seven (page 109)
I Almost Took My Life
Kathy Collard Miller

As the train rumbled past the East Coast countryside, my thoughts were as piercing as the screeching wheels of the train. Why did Greg kill himself? He was a distant relative whom I rarely saw, yet the news of Greg's suicide made tears fill my eyes. Oh, to be that full of despair.

In the past I'd struggled with suicidal feelings. I glanced over at my 28-year-old sleeping daughter. If I had acted on those feelings, I wouldn't have the fabulous mother-daughter relationship I now enjoyed with Darcy.

But 26 years earlier, my depression and life had careened out of control. Larry and I had celebrated our seventh anniversary, but it wasn't a happy occasion. Unwisely, I asked again, "Larry, why do you work so many hours? Having a two-year-old and a newborn is hard work. I need you to help me."

"Kathy, I try to help you. Being a policeman is demanding. I'm working all those hours to secure our financial future."

I knew I'd spoiled our time together. Silence again surrounded us, and a fog of hopelessness encircled me. My thoughts turned inward. Kathy, you never do anything right. Larry hates you. Then in my own defense, I mentally screamed, I hate him too. Doubts and fear haunted me. Will we get a divorce? Why can't we talk? We used to be in love. Then I prayed silently, Lord, we're Christians. We're not supposed to act like this. What's wrong?

Often I prayed for my marriage and my angry reactions to our 2-year-old daughter. My anger toward Darcy escalated when I felt rejected by Larry. Her strong-willed nature resisted toilet training and resulted in constant temper tantrums that wore me down. Constantly I yelled at her. But that wasn't all. My reactions had deteriorated into angry spanking, kicking, and pushing, and I felt totally powerless to stop my behaviors.

[The rest of the story is in the book.]

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