Cover image for Grieving a suicide : a loved one's search for comfort, answers & hope
Grieving a suicide : a loved one's search for comfort, answers & hope
Hsu, Albert Y., 1972-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Downers Grove, Ill. : InterVarsity Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
180 pages ; 21 cm
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BV4905.3 .H78 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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A 2003 Finalist in the United Kingdom Christian Book Awards!Every seventeen minutes, someone in the United States dies by suicide. It is one of the most serious public health crises of modern times, claiming over one million lives worldwide every year.Those who have lost a loved one to suicide experience tremendous shock and trauma, with a confusing mix of emotions--anger, guilt, grief and despair. Suicide also raises heartrending questions: Why did this happen? Why didn't we see it coming? Many also wonder if those who choose suicide are doomed to an eternity separated from God and loved ones. Some may even start asking whether life is worth living at all.After his father's death by suicide, Albert Hsu wrestled with the intense emotional and spiritual questions surrounding suicide. While acknowledging that there are no easy answers, Hsu draws on the resources of the Christian faith to point suicide survivors to the God who offers comfort in our grief and hope for the future.If you have lost a loved one to suicide or provide pastoral care to those left behind, this book is an essential companion for the journey toward healing.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Hsu's wise, bittersweet, intelligently written book relates his own coping with unexpected, violent death and compassionately examines the emotional and theological issues of suicide. Hsu's father was a suicide at 59. He had suffered a stroke and become depressed during the preceding weeks, yet his death was a great shock. Respecting his readers--for instance, by acknowledging individual differences in grieving--Hsu encourages remembering while lamenting and realizing that one will never know what could have been. He addresses such difficult, unanswerable questions as "Why did it happen?" and "Could anything have prevented it?" while exploring the morality of suicide and the problem of forgiving the suicide with great sensitivity and care. Suffering, he concludes, is part of the human condition. Rather than pondering "unfathomable mysteries," it is better to do one's best to achieve relief. Despite suffering, one can still find meaning, connect with others, and hope that good can come from pain and healing from grief. Strongly recommended for those who have lost a loved one to suicide. --June Sawyers

Publisher's Weekly Review

This guide for suicide survivors family and friends of people who took their own lives maintains InterVarsity Press's tradition of cerebral evangelicalism: it is biblical, well reasoned, clearly presented and thoroughly researched. Such a head-over-heart presentation is not surprising, since the author is an IVP editor. An unexpected bonus is the personal thread Hsu weaves through each chapter, the story of his own deep grief at his father's sudden suicide four years ago. In the book's first section, Hsu explores the emotions of grief from sudden shock to eventual remembrance. Though his map of grieving differs from the familiar one proposed by Elisabeth K bler-Ross, Hsu never minimizes grief's importance. "Only when we actively mourn will we be able to receive the comfort that God and others offer," he writes. Nevertheless, "those without [Christian] hope grieve in one way; those with hope grieve in another." The Christian way of grieving is Hsu's focus in the latter half of the book, where he surveys Scripture to deal with questions such as whether people who die by suicide can go to heaven, where God is when tragedy strikes and what can be learned from suicide. With its careful biblical exposition presented in a friendly homiletic style, Hsu's how-to-think-about-suicide book will have value for evangelical pastors and counselors as much as perhaps even more than for the bereaved themselves. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Table of Contents

Introduction: For Survivors--the Other Victims of Suicide
Part 1 When Suicide Strikes
1 Shock
2 Turmoil
3 Lament
4 Relinquishment
5 Remembrance
Part 2 The Lingering Questions
6 Why Did This Happen?
7 Is Suicide the Unforgivable Sin?
8 Where Is God When It Hurts?
Part 3 Life After Suicide
9 The Spirituality of God
10 The Healing Community
11 The Lessons of SuicideEpilogue: Going On
Appendix: Resources for Suicide Survivors and Suicide Prevention