Monday, February 24, 2014

Resources: A Conference and a Book

A couple of resources for my fellow survivors:
-       --  Never Alone: Survivors Supporting Survivors is the 26th annual Healing After Suicide Conference of the American Assn. of Suicidology and American Fdn. for Suicide Prevention. It takes place Saturday, April 12, at the Century Plaza Hyatt Regency in Los Angeles, following the Never Alone AAS conference for researchers and mental health professionals. Click on Registration Materials for the conference and see pp. 25-26 for the program of workshops for suicide loss survivors, which looks varied and well-planned. Registration is $135 for non-members before March 15, $150 thereafter (see p. 41 for rates and registration form); scholarships are available (see p. 27). Hope to meet some of you there!

-        --  I finally started reading Unfinished Conversation: Healing from Suicide and Loss – A Guided Journey by Robert Lesoine (Parallax Press, 2013). It is a sensitive, honest blend of suicide loss memoir, journal exercises, and meditation prompts, much of it with a Buddhist perspective. At first, the author’s losing a best friend to suicide in middle age seemed far removed from losing a teenage or young adult child. But there is much to learn from and relate to here for anyone who is mourning the interruption of years of close conversation with a loved one. Lesoine suggests not only writing letters to the person but creating two-way conversations with them, including “do-over” dialogs about their suffering. Sample chapter titles: Disregarded Warnings; Unanswered Questions; Emotional Roller Coaster; Revealing the Shadow; Abandoned; Saying Goodby to My Buddy.

I will be adding this book to the Resources pages of this blog and would welcome hearing about books that have helped you on the mourner’s path.

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