Life After Suicide: A Ray of Hope for Those Left Behind
E. Betsy Ross
My book, "Life After Suicide: A Ray of Hope for Those Left Behind," starts with stories
about what it is like to be a survivor of the suicide of someone you love. But it goes much further.
It is a self-help guide to recovery for the survivor, a handbook for anyone who cares about helping
someone else, and a resource for professionals who work with bereaved survivors in health care,
education, religious institutions, and the workplace. It can also serve as a college textbook for
classes dealing with loss, grief, and bereavement in general as well as after a suicide. The book
is a culmination of my 25 years of personal experience as a suicide survivor, as leader of a grief
support group, and as founder of Ray of Hope, Inc., in 1977. ROH is the first national non-profit
organization to provide local chapters, education, consultation, workshops, and self-help groups
for this unique grief experience. It also has chapters in Canada, Iceland, Austria and the
Netherlands. Besides covering the immediate aftermath of the suicide, the book helps to understand
both the many aspects of the situation leading up to the suicide and the complicated process
of recovery. It touches on such topics as addiction, abuse, neglect, and depression, as well as
self-examination, spirituality and personal growth. It has many practical suggestions about what
to do and not to do, what to say and not to say,how to help oneself, how to help children, etc.
Much of this advice has come from Ray of Hope members throughout the world and from courageous
survivors I've met while speaking or presenting seminars on this subject.