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Chasing Death: Losing a Child to Suicide Paperback – 1 Oct 2009
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"After my brother killed himself, I read so many grief and suicide aftermath books and threw most of them in the bin because they did not truly relate to my pain. So much of what Jan expresses in Chasing Death is exactly how I feel and her writing has evoked powerful emotions and images that make me want to return to the book many times. As a grieving parent herself, Jan has insight into the terrifying and overwhelming anguish that affects surviving families. Jan has written the book in such a way that people, both young and old from all walks of life, can read it. She also covers all the areas that we think about but don't want to discuss.
When I was reading Chasing Death, it I felt my brother Fergal was communicating through the book and also that I was reading the book for him. Jan has written a wonderful book and although parts are very disturbing they are just different versions of the nightmare we all went through, and have to live with. The end is the same. I could not put the book down; it was like I was compelled to read it. All the pages are so well written and, of course, from experience Jan has only written the facts. I hope some of so called psychologists etc. read this book.
Jan's son Kristian did not die in vain as his death has brought his mother into so many lives and helped them with their bereavement and also hopefully helped those who turn to drugs try for a better life. -- Anne-Marie, University Lecturer, US
"I feel grateful and immensely privileged to have been allowed a sneak preview of, what I am certain will be, a bestseller. I hope that it will be, because it will allow others a glimpse into the `secret club' to which all suicide survivors belong. The secrecy means only feeling able to share our innermost feelings with those who have endured a similar bereavement. At the same time, we want people to know what we are truly feeling, because not only will it help them to have a better understanding of our grief, but should a similar tragedy ever befall their family, they will at least have a greater awareness of the devastation that follows. After I lost my granddaughter to suicide, I started reading many other books, but never got further than the first couple of chapters. Chasing Death was one of those books that had me transfixed from the first page and I did not want to stop reading, even for the briefest of moments. Although, as Jan said, there are no words strong enough to describe the pain and complicated grief that follows the loss of a loved one to suicide, she has captured these thoughts and emotions outstandingly within the confines of the English language." -- Aileen, Teacher, UK
"I have never lost a child, but I am a mother. I have read numerous triumph over tragedy books, but never has a book touched me with such profoundness as this one. I wept on countless occasions, but found that once I had started reading, I just didn't want to put the book down. How Jan has managed to channel her grief into something so phenomenal is not only admirable, but shows an incredible strength that I just don't believe I would ever have if suicide were to strike my own family. I don't just see a bestselling book here, but a powerful drama or movie. I would certainly be the first at the box office." -- Karin, Solicitor, Sweden
"As a professional psychologist, I was still totally unprepared for my son's suicide. I spent so much time trying to analyse why he ended his life and reading the type of literature that I could have written myself prior to his death. Sadly, I had to experience the devastation of suicide firsthand to realise how useless many of these books were. The way that Jan synthesises through words all the aspects of the unbearable and complicated grief that follows the suicide of a child is truly amazing. She helps to break down the barriers of shame, helplessness and secrecy and I found the chapter on Handling Insensitivity from Others invaluable."
-- Veronica, Psychologist, Australia
From the Back Cover
The stigma, helplessness and unanswered questions that accompany the suicide of a loved one can isolate grieving families in a wilderness of relentless, silent torture. Chasing Death attempts to put candid, but heartrending words to the often incommunicable pain that the surviving families endure, not only through the telling of Kristian's story, but through the experiences of other families mourning the loss of a child to suicide.
The book covers topics that will not be found in detached and academic grief recovery books, but it does include coping strategies.
Your heart will break as you read this book, but it will relate to the feelings of grieving families and reassure them that they are not alone. The audience for Chasing Death extends beyond grieving families and those who deal with them and would provide a compelling, touching and enlightening read for anyone interested in emotional true life stories.
£1 from every book sold will be donated to Kidscape, the UK charity committed to keeping children safe from bullying and abuse.See all Product description
Top Customer Reviews
Harshly, in life many do survive with this painful scenario and I hope will sought out this book for some comfort knowing that they are not isolated with their discontented feelings of the massive void.
As soon as I picked up this book, I couldn't put it down. This book is written in the manner of a bestseller novel. It is eloquently written but without being too complex and with such raw honesty. Without revealing too much, I can only admire how the author has the courage to reveal the background leading up to her own son's death. Being emotionally fuelled and sympathising with the author, I found at times I just could not prevent the tears from flowing down my cheeks but being an important measure in the process of the book; revealing the brutal honesty of dealing or not wanting to deal with the grief.
I also would say that the author does break away with compassionate integrity sharing other people's stories interconnecting with her own experiences of how to deal with the death of a child, albeit through suicide or by any other diagnosis.
This heart-to-heart book will be identified by the many who need no verification of the pain they have already endured but also to envoke to the ways of staying in touch spiritually. Through this book many people will find great comfort and the recognition for the loss of their own special child.
As a parent who lost a teenager to a tragic accident in 2005, I found a great deal in this book to commend it to bereaved families, and those around them, who struggle to find the `right' way to support their family and friends who are grieving and begin to understand the `ripple' effect of child loss. We can never get over the loss of our children, but with the help of resources such as this book, we can make a little more sense of what has happened, and live meaningfully in honour of the memory of those we have lost.
Jan has written this book with a total, and sometimes brutal, honesty, but anyone, who has experienced this tragedy, will immediately relate to all of the emotions shared by so many people.
Many times,personally,I used to regard my thoughts as not being normal, but actually, through this stunning "Masterpiece" of writing,I now realise,that my feelings are exactly " normal"
Jan has written this book, straight from her heart, and you will sense, and understand, the incredible bond she and Kristian had, and actually still have...
I would urge anyone who buys this book, to also join Jans website.
This lady has made such a huge difference to my life.
I guarantee you will cry, but absolutely for the right reasons..
This book was the most amazing, heartbreaking and in a way, comforting book I have ever read. It was like reading my own story, she felt the same pain that I was feeling, had the same thoughts that I was having and to know that I was not going crazy helped me so much. From the minute the book arrived I did not put it down. It went everywhere that I went and even now, I keep it on my bedside table. It is never far away and when I am feeling down, I pick it up again and start to read it. I notice that although I will never come to terms with the death of my child, I can see that I have 'healed' a little since the first devastating few months, I went through the whole book with a highlighter the second time I read it and marked every word that was relevant to me at the time and a few of those paragraphs don't quite feel so raw now.
Whether a person has just lost a child to suicide or whether it's curiosity that makes a person buy this book, it really does give a very truthful and brutal insight into the after effects of a child's suicide. There is no glamour, Jan doesn't tell you how you should be feeling or what you should do, it is just an honest account of something that in a split second can change a parents life for ever.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I felt the personal statements from parents and others excellent , it helped me feel I was not alone in this terrifying journey. Read morePublished on 15 Mar. 2014 by kat
I have not completed this book yet. I only lost my daughter 2 months ago but I dip into this book when no one else in the world seems to understand what I am going through. Read morePublished on 6 Mar. 2014 by Tracy Dodsworth
I recently lost my 23 year old daughter, who was a 3rd year medical student to suicide 4-11-13. No one had any idea of her depression until her suicide note was read. Read morePublished on 4 Oct. 2013 by Rhonda Elkins
I felt like I wanted to kill myself. I got this book, I read it. I thought of my own mother and got myself a therapist instead. I am still here somehow. Read morePublished on 26 Aug. 2013 by Han
I bought this book for my daughter as we lost my grandson to suicide last year. A deep and emotive read.Published on 20 April 2013 by Mags
An insight into family tragedies. A very honest book on a difficult subject that gives you an understanding on those affected.Published on 4 April 2013 by Lizajayne
Did not help me at all (sorry) although it might help some people, I lost my son in August and Nothing can make that easierPublished on 17 Dec. 2011 by Julie
I just want to say thank you to the author, your book helped me when I thought I was beyond help.Published on 22 Sept. 2011 by Mrs Hole