3 out of 4 stars
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What would you do if you walked into your garage and found your child hanging from the rafters? My Name is Dad by James Frank is Mr. Frank’s story after finding his 21-year-old son, Egor, dead from suicide on January 23, 2017. The family took vacations together four times a year, and they were very close. When Frank’s son turned 18 years old, he no longer wanted to go, and that was considered normal for a teenager seeking freedom from their parents. The family was still close, and they talked to each other all the time. Egor was religious and aspired to go to Africa to help those less fortunate. He wanted to become a preacher and told them, “Suicide is forbidden. Taking one’s own life leads them to hell.” So, why did he commit suicide? Were there signs that his parents, sister, and friends did not see? Or was he a selfish, self-centered young man? Before trying to answer any of these questions, read this short 56-page book.
There are too many positive aspects to this book to name them all. Therefore, I am only going to discuss a couple of the ones that impacted me the most. James Frank holds nothing back in this book. He explains the impact the suicide had on him, his ten-year-old daughter, his wife, and their marriage. He acknowledges that although his pain was profound, his wife’s pain was probably much worse because she had carried Egor in her womb and given birth to him. All of my life, I have heard that doves, butterflies, and robins are signs of departed loved ones. No one has explained this concept better than James Frank in this quote “In truth, one of the most well-known robin symbolic meanings is its connection to death and the afterlife. In general, birds have an ambiguous symbolic significance across cultures and are often thought to bear the spirits of our deceased loved ones. In particular, many red robin superstitions and personal testimonies suggest that robins appear when loved ones are near.” (Source: Gravestones)
The only negative aspect of this book is the topic of suicide. James Frank warns that the book will be hard to read for some readers. This warning is very accurate as he goes into great detail in describing the format of the suicide and how the body looked. Although it was hard to read about it, this information put into perspective the seriousness of suicide and its impact on those left behind.
I was disappointed to discover that a professional editor has not edited this book. I found over ten errors in the book; many of these were inconsistencies in the writing of numerals. Some of the numbers under ten were written out correctly, and others were not. I could not overlook them as being stylistic since they were inconsistent. For this reason, I am forced to give this book 3 out of 4 stars.
I recommend this book to anyone who has thought about suicide and survivors of someone who has committed suicide. If you want to help with suicide awareness, read this book to learn some of the signs and how simple actions may prevent someone from committing suicide. A smile at a total stranger may make all the difference.
My Name is Dad
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