4 out of 4 stars
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I understand; pain, love, and healing after suicide by Vonnie Woodrick starts with a heartfelt letter thanking those individuals who have helped the author and her family through unimaginable turmoil. In it, readers start to get a sense of what has happened as the author mentions her husband's depression. Unfortunately, this depression, despite seemingly having it all, made him believe that taking his own life was the best option.
The remainder of the book is a mix of a biography and autobiography, as the author shares her own life story and that of her late husband. She tells readers about different moments in time where her husband's mental illness was simply debilitating, such as the aftermath of September 11th. She follows this with her life after her husband's death, how she held her family together, and the effect on her children. She clarifies that "survivors do not receive a roadmap for the future." However, she created the I understand organization to help with this. She goes on to explain the organization and its different aspects. Of course, I can't give away all the details, so you will have to read to find out more.
The author was brutally honest in this book and it was easy to feel her pain. While the topic itself is not enjoyable, in the fact that it is hard to read about the topic, the emotion put into words helped make me feel deeply. To me, this shows the skill of the writer and I quite liked this aspect.
I think another great aspect of this book is that it generates a dialogue about mental health and suicide. How can it not? The author is so open with her family's story and her own experience and it showed me that she was not afraid anymore. It also showed me that she wants to help. While people mean well, they can't help without truly understanding, which she addresses in this book. I understand; pain, love, and healing after suicide brought me one step closer to understanding.
I could not find anything I disliked about this book. I did not find much in the way of grammatical errors or formatting that concerned me. The only potential concern would be the topic, as it could be a trigger for some people. Some individuals are unable to read about death, let alone someone taking their own life. As such, readers should be careful.
All said and done, I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. It was well written, well-edited, and unforgettable. I learned much from reading this book and would highly recommend it to others who enjoy the field of psychology or self-help. It would also be a good read for mental health providers.
I understand pain, love and healing after suicide.
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