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How I Felt

16 May

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Book Review: Making Peace with Suicide by Adele Ryan McDowell, Ph.D.

16 Nov

Making Peace with Suicide by Adele Ryan McDowell, Ph.D.

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Making Peace with Suicide by Adele Ryan McDowell, Ph.D.

Publisher: White Flowers Press (Oct 28, 2014)
Category: Self-Help, Mental Illness, Grief, Psychology
Tour dates: Oct/Nov, 2017
ISBN: 978-0982117620
ASIN: B00S46SGFI
Available in Print & ebook, 232 pages
Making Peace With Suicide

Insightful, compelling, and compassionate, Making Peace with Suicide: A Book of Hope, Understanding, and Comfort takes a good hard look at the world-wide phenomena of suicide. This book is designed for anyone who has lost a loved one to suicide and felt that sucker punch of grief; for anyone who is in pain, walking unsteadily, and considering suicide as an option; and for anyone who works with, guides, or counsels those feeling suicidal and/or suffering the profound grief from a suicidal loss.

Making Peace with Suicide includes stories of courage, vulnerability, and steadfastness from both the survivors of suicidal loss as well as the unique perspective of the formerly suicidal. It offers shared wisdom and coping strategies from those who have walked before you. It explores the factors leading to suicide and the reasons why some do and some don’t leave suicide notes.

Making Peace with Suicide sheds light on the phenomena of suicide vis-à-vis our teens, the military, new mothers, as an end-of-life choice, and asks if addiction is a form of slow suicide. It provides a seven-step healing process and opens the door to consider suicide and the soul, the heart lesson of suicide, and the energies of suicide.

If suicidality has impacted your life, Making Peace with Suicide is a must-read. You will be guided through the unknown territory, given insights to allow understanding, stories to help you heal, and ways to make peace with a heart wide-open. Making Peace with Suicide is good medicine for the body, mind, and soul.

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Review by Laura M.

When I was a young girl, my much older cousin killed himself.  My mother was the one to tell me.  She agreed that it was quite sad and said that it happens sometimes.  She told me that is a really selfish act but some people just couldn’t survive, for whatever reason. 

I don’t think most have many answers or insight, so how do you explain suicide to a young child?  I think that if my mother had this book, ‘Making Peace With Suicide,’ she may have been able to better explain it to me and perhaps been better equipped to help my aunt and uncle.

The author, Adele Ryan McDowell, Ph.D., brings her experience, insight, and compassion to assist people in coping with suicide and attempts at suicide.  The book is well written and easy to understand so it is really for anyone.  I also think it should be required reading for those entering a profession that counsels people on suicide, be it a psychologist, doctor, or clergy, etc.

All these years later, the death of my cousin is still with me.  I find a lot of comfort in what Ms. McDowell shares in her book and will turn to it again if the occasion should arise.  I hope not but you never know what life will bring you and when.  I highly recommend this book and give it five stars!

The book was sent to me for my honest opinion.

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Excerpt

The Many Faces of Suicide

Suicide is many things.

Suicide is not a sin, from my point of view. Some religions espouse hellfire and damnation; others ponder the intention of the suicidal individual. Since I see all of us on a path to open our hearts, expand our consciousness, and operate from our Best or Higher Selves, I do not believe that the Divine—in any form or moniker— is looking to punish us for being human. The Divine is all about love—unconditional love—and helping each of us find the pathway to that conclusion. Individuals who take their life by suicide are not punished. (Quite frankly, haven’t they lived through enough hell?) That is old school thinking to me. If you believe in heaven, they are in heaven. If you believe in past lives, their souls are being readied for their next assignment. Where we all can agree is that the soul has moved out of the constraints and limitations of the 3D world and moved to another nonphysical dimension.

Suicide is not a crime. (For the record, suicide is no longer illegal in the Western world, where suicide has been decriminalized. There are, however, legal ramifications to assisted suicide and the like).

Some say the weak choose suicide. I disagree. “Weak” is not the operative word here.

Suicide can be a tipping point of pain or shame, a plea for help, a response to mental illness and haywire neurochemistry, as well as the last gasp of despair and resignation. Suicide can also be an impulsive mistake, a planned ending of life, a shredded soul, the death of the ego, or the ultimate act of rage and fury. (That rage and fury is often our much wounded child-self battling mightily for control or screaming in enormous pain.)

Suicide can be a choice that we may or may not understand on the 3D level, such as a teaching tool for our loved ones or choosing to do profound work from the Other Side.

Suicide can be a part of our destiny, our soul path toward healing.

Suicide can be the result of soul loss.

Suicide can be a game-changer. After the loss of a loved one to suicide, your view on life changes. Life becomes more fragile, more precious, and more cherished. This holds true for those who have attempted suicide as well. For them, the attempt may lead to a spurt of fresh energy and a re-engagement with life.

And suicide is definitely a societal, and, therefore, a political and moral issue. We human beings—and our organizations, corporations, or governments—can be terribly self-serving, ruthless, abusive, and tyrannical toward others. Acts of violence, war, and exploitation damage and destroy the very souls of our being. We lose ourselves and the meaning of our lives. Suicidal thoughts and actions are a part of the collateral damage of these polarizations.

Further, suicide can be a powerful teacher. It teaches us the great lesson of compassion. It opens us in ways we never thought possible. Suicide asks us to accept a loved one’s choice and circumstance. Suicide asks us to forgive ourselves for our perceived wrongdoings, including our inability to prevent our loved one from harm. Suicide requires us to face our guilt, anger, and shame. Suicide asks us to accept the unacceptable, the inconceivable, the horrific, and make peace with it. Suicide asks us to live with an open heart. This means no judgment, no castigation, and no punishment. We see one another through a lens of acceptance. We allow each other to be who we are—in all of our shortcomings and crazy-making ways as well as all of our idiosyncratic wonderfulness.

(Page 166-167) Continue reading

Guest Post & Giveaway: Death of an Intensivist from Journey’s End

20 Sep
Death of an Intensivist
Gabriel Heras La Calle, MD
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My name is Gabriel and I have been an intensive care physician since 2007.
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As an intensivist, I spend my working hours balancing on the thin line that separates life and death. I have been doing this for more than ten years. Each day is a magical and unique adventure. I have cried and laughed. I have seen suffering and experienced joy also. I have helped patients survive due to the wonders of technology and emotional human support. I have also witnessed the finality of death, more than the rest of the population. Sometimes knowing that we did all that we could isn’t enough; sometimes death is just meant to be.
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I consider myself lucky to have shared many of these highly intense moments with the team members from the Departments of Intensive Care Medicine of several Spanish hospitals: Leganes, La Paz, Alcorcon, Torrelodones, Vallecas, Son Llàtzer, and Torrejón. After each day, we all know that our work doesn’t stop after eight hours: we bring those moments of joy and sadness home with us. Emotional time doesn’t run the same as normal time.
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Throughout the ten years, very little has changed in the way ICU patients are treated when “there is nothing to do.” With my years of first-hand experience, I now feel that there is so much more that we can do to improve the patient’s journey towards death.
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In Spain, death is not a subject to be spoken about; death is not conceived as natural-or as an inevitable fact that will happen to us all. Therefore, when a patient or his/her family is faced with the possibility of death, they build up a defensive wall to rational thought. First, there is the denial, then doubt that what they heard was true, then hope that the doctor is wrong and that this ‘news’ will just go away or disappear. But it doesn’t. When the fatal illness or injury happens, they are paralyzed, shocked, dumbfounded; they are not prepared. it is funny to realize that we, as organized human beings, prepare for our vacations to the last detail, plan our birthdays or weddings months in advance, yet ignore death or how we want to die or be treated in our last hours on this earth.
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Because of this lack of preparedness of our patients and their family members, we as healthcare workers and medical ICU staff need to stop, listen, think, and be empathic towards what the patients and the family members are experiencing. We need to think of how we would feel in the same situation, put ourselves in their shoes, and be aware of what they are going through. We need to think about our own death: the death of an intensivist, in my case.
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We need to stand back and think of what we can do to make this moment smoother, calmer, kinder, gentler; to reflect on how we can help them understand that death is part of the life process, that there is not anything else more democratic than death: it happens to us all no matter who or what we are. That cold fact doesn’t make it any easier, but through emotional support and genuine caring, the shock and numbness can be lessened.
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We have seen an individual who doesn’t benefit from sharing, from talking about their wants, their likes, their fears, or their tears. And I know that we as humans can adapt to almost any situation, no matter how desperate or dramatic it might be. You will survive; you will be okay. We are here for you; your family is there for you. So, let’s provide a relief from pain. Let’s provide solace for the desperate, company for the lonely, a comforting hand for the frightened, and the dignity in death.
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As physicians, we were taught to preserve life. But we also have the responsibility to educate people in the hard reality of life’s end: death. We must take up this challenge to train staff and management alike in the how and the why of end-of-life situations: communication, empathy, and bedside manners.
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Our objectives as specialists in intensive care medicine were always to reduce mortality and morbidity associated with critical illness, preserving the function of organs and restoring health. We were focusing on the result, not on the process, and we are probably wrong. But we have to make room for death with dignity: maintain autonomy, physical and emotional comfort, and ensure communication between people to prevent any kind of conflict.
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Some might think that palliative care intensive care is incongruous. However, we should try to bring together the best treatment available with the best multidisciplinary care to ease the patient’s dying process. Ultimately, we want to improve care in death by improving the quality of life of patients and families with physical, pharmacological, psychological, and spiritual support.
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We must work to make sense of death by helping patients, family, and friends to be prepared for the eventuality, avoiding surprises that trigger negative reactions, blatant rejection; we need to standardize processes in the ICU.
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Looking and listening, embracing and understanding, feeling compassion for those who are suffering means preparing patients, families, and friends for the inevitable. By putting ourselves in their shoes, we can feel what they feel and learn to respect their wishes. Hopefully, we can transform today’s reality into a better journey down life’s ICU path.
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Gabriel Heras La Calle, MD, intensive care doctor at University Hospital of Torrejón, Madrid. Creator of the International Research Project of Humanizing Intensive Care.
Facebook: Gabi Heras
Twitter:@HUMANIZALAUCI
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Book Title: Journey’s End: Death, Dying and the End of Life
Authors: Victoria Brewster & Julie Saeger Nierenberg
Category: Adult Non-Fiction; 558 pages
Genre: Resource/Educational
Publisher: Xlibris
Release date: July 20, 2017
Tour dates: Sept 4 to 22, 2017
Content Rating: PG-13 + M

Continue reading

Book Review & Giveaway: The Daffodils Still Grow by Sherri Elizabeth Tidwell

28 Apr

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The Daffodils Still GrowTitle: The Daffodils Still Grow: A Book for Grieving Daughters
Author: Sherri Elizabeth Tidwell
Publisher: Mascot Books
Pages: 38
Genre: Children’s Picture Book

The Daffodils Still Grow is a full-color illustrated book that portrays life after a loved one dies as seen from the observations of a motherless child. “Beautiful and inspiring.”

 

For More Information

  • The Daffodils Still Grow is available at Amazon.
  • Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.
  • Watch a narrated video of the book at YouTube.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

 

My Review

I received a free copy of this book for an honest review.

The Daffodils Still Grow is written by a woman who lost her mom when she was only 14 years old. She wrote it for girls who lose their mothers at a young age.

I’m 55 years old and both of my parents are living. I can’t imagine losing a parent as a child. It has to be one of the worst things that can happen to a child and, although they have to go through the grief process, resources such as this book should help in some small way. I think knowing that the author went through the same thing would also help because a child would realize that she knows what they’re feeling since she went through it, too.

I definitely recommend The Daffodils Still Grow as a resource for grief-stricken children who have lost a parent.

 

The Daffodils Still Grow teaser

 

About the Author

Sherri Elizabeth TidwellThe Daffodils Still Grow was inspired by diary entries of the author/illustrator, Sherri Elizabeth Tidwell, after the death of her mother when she was 14. “My mother committed suicide when I was 14, and after nearly a year of crying and hurting, I was surprised — almost shocked — to see the daffodils she planted right before her death still bloom again. It was a big wake-up call to me that, even though she was gone, I could still carry on without her FOR her. Somehow, our loved ones still find a way of communicating with us when we need it the most.” Sherri Elizabeth now attends Seton Hill University’s MFA program in Writing Popular Fiction. She has a BA in both communications and studio arts from Austin Peay State University. She hopes that every parent will know how irreplaceable and loved they are to their children and that every child who has lost a parent will know they are not alone. Remember, the daffodils still grow!

For More Information

 

 

Sherri Elizabeth Tidwell is giving away a The Daffodils Still Grow T-shirt!

Terms & Conditions:

  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one The Daffodils Still Grow t-shirt
  • This giveaway begins February 1 and ends April 29.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on April 30.
  • Winners have 48 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!

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Book Review & Giveaway: Someone Died…Now What? by Corrie Sirota

6 Oct

Someone Died...Now What

About the Book

Someone Died… Now What? is a GPS for grieving. Corrie Sirota provides Guidance, Perspective and Support to help navigate through the grief process. Whether someone you love has died or someone you know is struggling with a loss, this book addresses many of the issues and questions that surface, providing concrete assistance on what to do immediately following a death, how to deal with feelings of sadness, anger and guilt, non-death losses and how to support grieving children. You will learn that grief is an ongoing process, and is as unique and individual as you are.

 

Link to Montreal Gazette:    Article

 

Buy the book:    Amazon    Barnes & Noble

My Review

I received a free copy of this book for an honest review.

This is a great resource for those who have lost a loved one or those who know someone who has suffered a loss. It starts out explaining the process of grief and that everyone grieves in their own way. I’ve heard so many times that someone didn’t seem sad enough or, in the other extreme, that someone was a “basket case.” It’s always bothered me because I know that people grieve in their own way. This book explains all of the stages of grief as well as possible psychological and physical responses.

My favorite chapter in the book is Chapter 7 which is titled, “Comforting the Mourner, or, A Chapter for your Friends.” It’s always difficult to know what to say to someone who has lost a loved one. This chapter helps you know what to say as well as things that you can do that will help the mourner.

I definitely recommend Someone Died…Now What? for everyone. You never know when you, or someone you know, will suffer a loss. This is a good resource for when that happens.

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Author’s Bio

Corrie SirotaCorrie Sirota holds a Masters degree in Social Work as well as a Graduate Certificate in Loss and Bereavement from McGill University (Montreal) where she has been teaching as a lecturer in the School of Social Work for over 20 years. Corrie is a licensed psychotherapist who currently maintains a private practice specializing in Loss and Bereavement, Parenting issues and Relationship issues. She is a well-known lecturer who regularly presents at conferences and workshops, both locally and abroad. Working in the Montreal Community for over 2 decades, Corrie has developed numerous prevention and intervention programs for families, children and professionals, students and various community agencies as well as Day and Residential Camps.

Corrie has also written numerous articles and blog posts and is regularly interviewed on local radio, news and TV programs to consult on issues relating to loss and bereavement, Child Development and Parenting.

To learn more information about Corrie Sirota visit her website www.corriesirota.com.

 

Connect with the author:    Website    Twitter    Facebook

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