Sunday, November 6, 2011

Tolson 4 TEARS Reviews "No Time To Say Goodbye"

The subject of suicide is difficult to share. Ms. Fine is courageous to show the readers the depth of her devastation after the suicide of her husband. Although there is no how-to book on surviving the suicide of someone close, this book comes close in defining the emotions that surface in the aftermath. Others will see that they are not alone.
The author lets the readers into her own experience with the first chapter, where she describes her husband’s suicide scenario. As a physician, he knew exactly what he was doing, in a premeditated death march. Twenty-one years of marriage and a thriving practice had not been enough to assuage his despair. In a detailed account, Ms. Fine tells the readers how she found him. The scene, the choice, and the permanence of his decision had an impact on her that was too much to bear.
Carla Fine sought support from a group where suicide survivors bond with one another. The author weaves her own experience with others’ stories of surviving suicide. Even in cases where suicide had been spoken of and previously prevented, the ultimate tragedy is nothing but a shock to those left behind. The author contends that healing begins with talking, and chapter 1 is aptly titled “Letting Go of the Silence.”
The book is well-organized into six parts and 19 chapters, including resources. Chapter 5 focuses on the stigma of suicide. The author, as well as others she interviewed, fabricated stories about the nature of their loved ones’ deaths to avoid the stares and silence that comes after the word “suicide.” People ask nosy questions about how someone died, and suicide is an uncomfortable answer. Throughout the book, Ms. Fine relies on the reference Suicide and Its Aftermath: Understanding and Counseling the Survivors by Edward Dunne and Karen Dunne-Maxim, which gives credence to the narratives and anecdotes in No Time To Say Goodbye. Yet there is no better voice for the suffering than from one who has been though the pain.
The overall pace of the book was gentle and slow, with wise comments that closed each chapter. "We have heard one another’s stories of survival after suicide many times before, we know that every retelling will uncover fresh insights, recovered details, and unexpected interpretations." (page 222). Some of the stories describe inconceivable emotional crisis and disturbing suicide scenes. Some of the stories describe inconceivable psychological trauma and disturbing suicide scenes. As a "survivor" of my father's suicide, and a "survivor" of my own suicide attempts, I'd recommend this book for those who are unafraid of an honest approach to the gut-wrenching crisis of suicide.

Review completed by Lynn C. Tolson, author of Beyond the Tears: A True Survivor's Story
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