When a loved one dies of a physical health issue or a random accident, the common response for the deceased loved ones is sympathy. When a loved one dies from suicide due to mental illness, the common response is not always sympathy.
In 2017, Dr. Jennifer Ashton thought that she had it all: two happy and healthy children, a career as a respected physician and an amicable relationship with her ex-husband. Then her ex-husband committed suicide.
In her new memoir, Life after Suicide: Finding Courage, Comfort and Community after Unthinkable Loss, Dr. Ashton writes about the unexpected death of her ex-husband and how it changed her life. In this deeply personal memoir, Dr. Ashton takes the reader through the bumpy road from grief to acceptance. She also includes the stories of other women who have lost loved ones to suicide and how they learned to cope with their new reality.
I found this book to be one of the best books on mental illness that I have read in a long time. When we talk about suicide, we often talk about the person who took their own life, forgetting that their loved ones are dealing with an unimaginable loss and questions with answers that are not so black and white.
I recommend this book not just for those who are suffering from mental illness, but for those who love them. If nothing else, it will hopefully open the door to a conversation and perhaps save a few lives.