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Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite
But I Didn't Say Goodbye: Helping Families After a Suicide by Barbara Rubel is a heartrending book that tackles the very difficult and painful topic of suicide and how to cope with the death of a friend, family, or colleague who have taken their own lives. The author narrates the story based on the perception of an eleven-year-old boy, Alex, dealing with the aftermath of the suicide of his father, Billy, and how he deals with grief and loss. Suicide is a unique psychological experience for an individual and Alex's story addresses the beliefs and attitudes about what makes individuals take their lives, the pain that follows after a death caused by suicide, and finding meaning in what happened. The chapters provide a foundational understanding of the impact of suicide on students and adults, and how to develop open and honest communication among the traumatically bereaved.
But I Didn't Say Goodbye is honest and will help clinicians, families, and survivors of suicide when it comes to dealing with the grief and trauma caused by suicide. Barbara Rubel captures the pain and grief of Alex beautifully and makes it tangible for readers to realize how Alex never got over his father's death. The follow-up questions and the modern theories of grieving make this book a must-read for all those readers who are in similar situations to that of Alex. The fictional characters in the book help readers have a good understanding about a subject that is heartrending and painful and the insights and the exercises are useful to readers who are suicide loss survivors.