Inspirational Books After a Suicide

Please note this is just a sample of books available and is simply a recommended reading list. SSN by no means promotes one book over the other and wishes to make clear the information in these books is meant to supplement, not replace, professional training.


A Long-Shadowed Grief: Suicide and Its Aftermath, by Harold Ivan Smith

The author guides us on a spiritual exploration of suicide, probing shadows, secrets and silences, and brings us into a helpful light.

After A Suicide, Young People Speak Up, by Susan Kuklin

A variety of first-hand accounts of young people offering great insight into their experiences and reactions to a suicide death. Includes interviews with individuals who considered suicide and got help.

After Suicide, by John H. Hewett

This constructive guide offers much-needed information and clinically tested advice for those struggling to cope in the aftermath of a suicide. Written in clear language, this book presents the facts and demonstrates how to deal with feelings of guilt, anger, bewilderment, and shame. Also included is an anniversary memorial service that enables family members to recommit themselves to life.

After Suicide Loss: Coping with Your Grief, 2nd Edition, by Bob Baugher, Ph.D. and Jack Jordan, Ph.D.

The is the second edition of this highly popular book has been expanded from 67 to 156 pages, which includes a chapter on helping children cope with a suicide loss.

But I Didn't Say Goodbye: Helping Families After A Suicide, by Barbara Rubel, MA, BCETS, DAAETS

Barbara is a keynote speaker and trainer. Three weeks prior to Barbara giving birth to triplets, her father died by suicide. The story of her dad's suicide was featured in the Emmy award-winning documentary, Fatal Mistakes: Families Shattered by Suicide

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

With extraordinary courage and compassion, the authors break through dangerous silence, complicated emotions and brutal stigma to offer this gentle, healing guide for family members who have lost a loved one to suicide.

Finding Your Way After the Suicide of Someone You Love, David B. Biebel, D. Min., and Suzanne L. Foster, M.A., Zondervan, 2005.

Co-authored by a loss survivor and a minister, this book looks at the experience of suicide bereavement from a Christian perspective.

Healing after the Suicide of a Loved One, by Ann Smolin CSW and John Guinan, Ph.D.

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.

Healing the Hurt Spirit: Daily Affirmations For People Who Have Lost A Loved One to Suicide, by Catherine Greenleaf

This easy-to-read book speaks to survivors about the crucial stages of recovery from suicide loss, offering hope and peace of mind.

Mourning After Suicide (Looking Up), by Lois A. Bloom

The author lost her son to suicide. This easy-to-read 24-page booklet is an excellent introduction for someone newly bereaved. It normalizes the grief and the reference to spirituality is gentle and noninvasive.

Rocky Roads: The Journeys of Families Through Suicide Grief, by Michelle Linn-Gust, Ph.D.

The grief journey following a suicide loss is not a quick and easy path. Because people are unique, as are the life experiences of individuals, the road can open up in several ways for each person. No one travels the same way, Michelle Linn-Gust, also the author of "Do They Have Bad Days in Heaven? Surviving the Suicide Loss of a Sibling", guides the family unit with a road map to navigate suicide grief as individuals and as part of the family unit with the ultimate goal of strengthening the family even after a devastating suicide loss.

Seeking Hope: Stories of the Suicide Bereaved, edited by Michelle Linn-Gunst, Ph.D. and Julie Cerel, Ph.D.

A collection of fourteen people tell their stories which for many can be the best way to begin the healing process following a suicide death which has forever changed their lives.

Silent Grief: Living in the Wake of Suicide, by Christopher Lucas and Henry M. Seiden, Ph.D.

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.

Survivors of Suicide, by Rita Robinson.

A variety of stories and topics related to suicide. She shatters the ten most common myths of suicide.

The Understanding Your Suicide Grief Journal, by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D.

This companion journal to Understanding Your Suicide Grief helps you explore the ten essential Touchstones for finding hope and healing your grieving hart after the suicide death of someone you loved.

The Wilderness of Suicide Grief: Finding Your Way, by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D.

Presenting the idea of wilderness as a sustained metaphor for grief, this compassionate guide explores the unique responses inherent to the grief felt by those who have experienced the suicide of a loved one and offers information about coping with such a profound loss.

Touched by Suicide: Hope and Healing after Loss, by Michael F. Myers and Carla Fine

In this definitive guidebook, the authors combine their perspectives as a physician and a survivor to offer compassionate and practical advice to anyone affected by suicide.


A Broken Heart Still Beats: After Your Child Dies, by Anne McCracken & Mary Semel

How Two Grieving Mothers Found Inspiration and Comfort. There are few, if any, events in life as traumatic, heart-wrenching, and crushing as the death of a child. While nothing can mute the pain of such a life-shattering loss, others who know this experience can help those suffering articulate the chaos of their feelings and see that they can, eventually, feel whole again

A Mother's Story, by Gloria Vanderbilt

Gloria Vanderbilt’s son died by suicide at the age of 22. Her book tells the story of his life and death, and the story of her life and struggle to live on after that death.

Ben's Story: The Symptoms of Depression, ADHD and Anxiety Disorder that Caused His Suicide, by Trudy Carlson

A mother shares the profoundly moving story of her son’s life that illustrates the symptoms of depression and anxiety disorder that led to his suicide death at age 14. The book also includes 17 pages of valuable information useful for recognizing and treating at-risk individuals.

Everything to Live For, by Susan White-Bowden

The author lost her son and husband to suicide. It is a deeply honest, courageous account of what happened and of the painful lessons that came too late to help her son, but that can surely help others. A moving and compelling book.

Finding Peace Without All the Pieces, After a Loved One's Suicide, by LaRita Archibald

A very informative book that provides suicide survivors with insights into the emotional responses they may be experiencing. The author shares her personal experience of the suicide death of her son and the insights gained by helping families for over three decades.

My Son, My Son: A Guide to Healing After A Suicide in the Family, by Iris Bolton with Mitchell C. Bolton

A therapist shares the story of the suicide of her son, a compelling, powerful, and informative book about suicide, grief, survival and hope that will profoundly touch the heart and provide new insights for everyone.

Prayers for Bobby - A Mother's Coming to Terms with the Suicide of Her Gay Son, by Leroy Aarons

Unable to reconcile his gay sexual orientation with his family’s religious and moral beliefs, Bobby leaped to his death from a freeway bridge in 1983. Nominated for a 1996 Lambda Literary Award, this is the story of the emotional journey that led Bobby to this tragic conclusion. But it is also the story of Bobby's mother, a fearful churchgoer who first prayed that her son would be "healed," then anguished over his suicide, and ultimately transformed herself into a national crusader for gay and lesbian youth.

Sanity & Grace - A Journal of Suicide, Survival and Strength, by Judy Collins

The author, singer Judy Collins, wrote this book to shed more light upon the dark taboo of suicide. The suicide of her son was devastating beyond words, yet she managed to put everything she knew or read or heard or thought about suicide into words, for her own healing as well as that of others.

Stronger Than Death, When Suicide Touches Your Life, by Sue Chance, M.D.

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

Take the Dimness of My Soul Away: Healing after a Loved One’s Suicide, William A. Ritter, Morehouse Publishing, 2004.

Reverend Ritter shares a moving collection of his sermons and notes following his son’s death by suicide. Throughout this God-centered journey, Ritter’s poignant words explore how spiritual healing is possible after the loss of a loved one to suicide.

When Suicide Comes Home - A Father's Diary and Comments, by Paul Cox

Paul Cox, a truck driver by trade, wrote his first book at night sitting in the cab of his truck, devastated by the suicide death of his son in 1998. This is a man’s book, emotional and candid, full of plain talk and an indomitable spirit.


Crossing 13: Memoir of a Father's Suicide, by Carrie Stark Hugus

This story is a captivating coming-of-age story about a 13-year-old girl whose life is instantly altered upon finding her father dead from suicide. As she rides the emotional waves of, shock, guilt, confusion, shame, and the obsession with WHY, she begins to embrace her new normal life. Through each struggle, you share her journey of complicated grief in the aftermath of a sudden loss. This story will give you insight to what it takes for teenagers to survive the self-inflicted death of a parent and the compassion to understand and support them.

Dead Reckoning: A Therapist Confronts His Own Grief, by David C. Treadway

A mother’s suicide and how it affected her husband and four children, including the author. Through his own therapy, he comes to understand her depression and how it affected the rest of his family. This openhearted book is an inspiration for all who struggle with unresolved grief.

In Her Wake: A Child Psychiatrist Explores the Mystery of Her Mother's Suicide, by Nancy Rappaport

In 1963, Nancy Rappaport’s mother died by suicide after a bitter public divorce and custody battle. Nancy was just 4 years old and the youngest of 6 children. Growing up in a blended family of 11 children after her father remarried, Nancy was bewildered about why her mother took her own life and left her behind. Years later, encouraged by her own children’s curiosity about their grandmother and fortified by her training as a child psychiatrist, Nancy began to investigate her mother’s life and the mysteries surrounding her death.

Voices of Strength: Sons and Daughters of Suicide Speak Out, by Judy Zionts Fox, RN, LSW and Mia Roldan

The process for this book mirrors the message that the authors’ book gives: that even when you’re faced with a difficult task, one that you don’t think you’re experienced enough or emotionally equipped to handle, you can achieve so much fulfillment from your efforts. Asking for and receiving help from others will all lead you to where you eventually want to be.


A Different Kind of Same: A Memoir, Kelley Clink

A Different Kind of Same traces Kelley’s journey through grief, her investigation into the role her own depression played in her brother’s death, and, ultimately, her path toward acceptance, forgiveness, resilience, and love.

Do They Have Bad Days in Heaven? Surviving the Suicide Loss of a Sibling, by Michelle Linn-Gust, M.S.

Regardless of age, sibling suicide survivors, the forgotten mourners, will find identity, comfort and encouragement in this poignant recount of the author’s grief journey following her sister’s suicide.

Healing the Adult Sibling's Grieving Heart: 100 Practical Ideas After Your Brother or Sister Dies, by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D.

Compassionate and heartfelt, this collection offers 100 practical ideas to help understand and accept the passing of a sibling to practice self-healing. The principles of grief and mourning are clearly defined, accompanied by action-oriented tips for embracing bereavement. Whether a sibling has died as a young or older adult or the death was sudden or anticipated, this resource provides a healthy approach to dealing with the aftermath.

Living Beyond the Why, by Dr. Bridgette Everhart Hardin

Living Beyond the Why is more than just a book about loss and grief; it's a book about living a life beyond the sting of your loved one's suicide and living a life that goes beyond the question of why. As you read through this book, you will travel through key moments of Dr. Hardin's personal grief journey after losing her brother to suicide.

Sibling Suicide: Journey from Despair to Hope, by Nathan S. Wager, MA LPC

After the loss of his only brother to suicide, author Nate Wagner struggled to find hope, reimagine his life, and achieve a new normal. As he slowly found a path through sorrow and discovered constructive ways to deal with his grief, he also discovered two new vocations: first counselor and then writer. Drawing on his clinical training and work and his own life experience, Nate shares his story with readers, offering practical suggestions and honest reflections to invite the reader into his journey from despair to hope. Written for those who have experienced sibling suicide, for those who want to support them, and for anyone seeking to understand, this memoir offers hope.

Surviving Bill, by Mike Reynolds

As a survivor of his brother’s suicide, the author knows the pain and confusion attached to loss and the immeasurable ways it changed his life. Going beyond the typical narratives on the five stages of grief, on religion or on counseling, this book shares those “ordinary” moments in his life that moved his healing forward, be they relationships, synchronistic moments or even his love of surfing.

Surviving the Death of A Sibling, by T. J. Wray

Based on the author's own experiences, as well as those of many others, this book helps adults who have lost a brother or sister to realize that they are not alone in their struggle. Just as important, it teaches them to understand the unique stages of their grieving process, offering practical and prescriptive advice for dealing with each stage.


Dawning of a New Day, A Journey Out of Darkness, by Carolyn M. Deleon

After her disabled husband died by suicide, the author called on her Christian faith to help herself heal.

From the Ashes Flies the Phoenix: Creating a Powerful Life after a Suicide, Gretta Krane, Inspiring Enterprises, 2006.

The survivor of her husband’s suicide, Krane shares her journey with the hope that it will inspire others to find self-discovery, growth, and hope in the aftermath of suicide loss.

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

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

Our Forever Angel, by Barb Scholz

Barb shares the experience of her husband’s suicide death, what worked and did not work for her to be able to survive. The techniques she used to help her children cope with their loss are extremely valuable.

The Widow Next Door: Learning to live again as a young widow and single mom after losing my husband to suicide by Heather Cruz

This is the author's journal of her life after losing the love of her life to mental illness and suicide. Heather's hope is to help others out there who may be traveling a similar path.

Things Jon Didn't Know About: Our Life After My Husband's Suicide, by Sue Henderson

Sue Henderson candidly recounts the experience of raising her family as a single parent survivor of suicide. Alongside an honest and moving account of the day-to-day practicalities and emotional impact of Jon's death, there's advice on how to talk to children about death and suicide, how to support them as they grow up, and how to be aware of the heightened emotional risks for bereaved children. She also draws on her experience as a social worker of 25 years to provide a theoretical framework for the book in which she discusses theories of grief and bereavement, issues of men's mental health, and the heightened incidence of male suicide.