But I Didn’t Say Goodbye: Helping Families After a Suicide tied for the winner in the Aging/Death & Dying category of the 2020 IndieReader Discovery Awards, where undiscovered talent meets people with the power to make a difference.
Following find an interview with author Barbara Rubel.
What is the name of the book and when was it published?
The title of the book is, But I Didn’t Say Goodbye: Helping Families After a Suicide.
What’s the book’s first line?
Although the warm, bright sunlight was coming through my hospital window, it was the coldest and darkest day of my life.
What’s the book about?
An adolescent experiences the death of a his father to suicide. At the age of 21, he reflects back on how that experience changed his life, wounding him, but also helping him to grow. His loss narrative becomes a case study for understanding complicated grief, bereavement after a traumatic loss, and ways to manage mourning when grief is disenfranchised.
What inspired you to write the book?
While in the hospital pregnant with triplets, my dad killed himself. Giving birth to triplets while grieving my dad’s death changed the trajectory of my life to become a speaker on finding meaning in loss, posttraumatic growth, and resilience.
What’s the most distinctive thing about the main character?
The main character is a compilation of all the suicide loss survivors I have met in the past thirty years. Their grief, mourning, bereavement, and coping strategies are incorporated into the main character’s loss narrative. He becomes a hypothetical case study for clinicians to learn ways to incorporate real-life information, current research, and theory into their practice. The main character’s experience will resonate in all survivors of suicide loss.
What’s the main reason someone should really read this book?
Practical and real-life information are embedded within this narrative that could serve as a model for family, clinicians, and others who experienced complicated grief, or interact with or help suicide loss survivors.
Is this the first you’ve written?
I wrote the 30-hour continuing education coursebook for Nurses, Loss, Grief, and Bereavement: Helping Individuals Cope, which is sold through Western Schools. The Coronavirus has impacted Nurses in a unique way. This resource is needed now more than ever to help Nurses navigate complicated loss in their workplace and at home.
What do you do for work when you’re not writing?
As a leading thanatologist, I offer keynote addresses, training, and webinar instruction to mitigating the impact of secondary traumatic stress and vicarious trauma.
Would you go traditional if a publisher came calling? If so, why?
One publisher reached out to me when the first edition launched in 1999. Several publishers contacted me in 2009 when the second edition launched, and I was sharing my story on television and radio. Although I recognized the value of traditional publishing, as a keynote speaker, my book was offered in the back of the room to attendees. I sold about 250 copies at a time. Since the Coronavirus has impacted live conferences across the country, I might be open to traditional publishing.
Is there something in particular that motivates you (fame? fortune?)
What motivates me is my passion to educate clinicians about complicated grief and vicarious trauma, so they have the tools to teach their clients about traumatic loss, self-care, and resiliency.