Suicide Loss: In Her Wake

February 13, 2010 9:09:51 PM PST
Suicide loss survivor and author Nancy Rappaport visits ABC7 Chicago.(Press Release)

In Her Wake shines light on survivors of suicide loss

Over one million people in the world die by suicide every year leaving millions more bereft. The partners, children, parents, siblings, friends, colleagues and caregivers left behind are often plagued by a corrosive sense of guilt and shame. And the stigma associated with suicide commonly causes survivors to hide the truth and suppress their anguish.

Nancy Rappaport, author of the memoir In Her Wake: A Child Psychiatrist Explores the Mystery of Her Mother's Suicide (Basic Books), was hauntedm ost of her life by her mother's suicide at the age of 34 that left her, and her five siblings, motherless. Her mom left a suicide note and a grocery list when she killed herself in 1963 -- the author was just four years old.

The suicide followed a bitter divorce and came at the heels of a protracted custody battle. Dr. Rappaport's father had remarried, and conversations with him about her mother through the years were strained. As an adult she knew that in order to heal she needed to break her family's code of silence and discover the truth about her mother's past.

In Her Wake is at once an investigation of the mystery surrounding her mother's suicide, and Dr. Rappaport's steadfast search for the mother she longs for and barely remembers. It is in her telling of the story that she reveals what matters most: how being a survivor of suicide loss shaped her as a daughter, child psychiatrist, wife and mother of three.

Dr. Rappaport's honest account of her family's loss and grief gives voice to what many have found too painful to describe. And the healing that comes from her brave and uncompromising examination of her family's past offers others the knowledge that it is possible to navigate through a devastating loss, overcome isolation, and endure and thrive.

What's the angle?
Dr. Rappaport can share the inspiring story of her journey to forgiveness and healing. And she can set people at ease while offering practical advice on tough topics like loss, suicide and mental illness:

?How tragic loss can bring family members closer together
?Why constructing a narrative about past trauma is important
?How survivors of suicide loss can heal and thrive
?How to talk to your child about suicide
?Helping your child through the loss of a loved one
?Signs that may signal your child is depressed
?Ensuring your child's well being during a high conflict divorce
?Treating depression in teens
?How mental illness affects siblings, parents, children and partners

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