Launched with a powerful narrative thrust of the suicide of her son in 1978, LaRita Archibald leads the reader from the initial trauma of violent death, through the ragged, brutal and unknown psychological and emotional landscape that must be traversed to find eventual healing and peace.
Using lessons learned from decades of work with suicide bereaved LaRita helps survivors of suicide loss and their careproviders have a framework for understanding the complexities of suicide grief and the reassurance that what they are expoeriencing is normal for what they have experienced. She gives names to the unsettling experiences of 'phantom pain' and 'flashbaciks' and validates feelings of anger, responsibility, frustration, even relief, and the need to search for answers, reasons and cause.
By addressing the concept of 'choice' and the impact of religious beliefs, misconceptions and age-old bias LaRita helps uncover layers of cultural influence that often create barriers to healing. She shares anedotes of military suicide loss, the compounded tragedy of murder/suicide and multiple suicide loss and how those left behind gained the strength to work through the extreme circumstance of their tragedies. She offers practical advice for protecting the marriage after a child's suicide, for meeting needs of bereaved chiuldren and for taking care of one's physical, emotional and spiritual self during acute grief. She acknowledges the evolvement of a 'new normal'; the adjustments to the physical and social environment suicide grievers must make to live beyond the death of the one who died and, as well, to live with the fact of suicide as the cause of the death. LaRita offers the reader suggestions for moving from being a victim to a survivor, and eventually, a 'thriver'.
In "Finding Peace Without All The Pieces' LaRita Archibald helps the reader place the puzzling pieces of thier own loss into a mosaic that brings hope and healing just by reading it. She extends the promise that the overwhelming anguish of today will eventually subside into manageable sorrow, that the suicide of one dearly loved IS survivable and there is healing and peace waiting in the future. She takes the hand of sucide bereaved, lending the strength of her own healing, as she helps them cross crevasses of deep suffering and tread the rugged paths through mountains of grief toward a plateau of peace. All the while she comforts and encourages, telling them, "Follow me, dear survivor. I've made this bitter journey. I'll show you the way."