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Book details
  • SubGenre:Death, Grief, Bereavement
  • Language:English
  • Pages:230
  • eBook ISBN:9781623093006

Finding Peace Without All The Pieces

After a Loved One's Suicide

by LaRita Archibald

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Finding Peace Without All The Pieces offers suicide bereaved what was not available to the author, LaRita Archibald, after her son ended his life in 1978. LaRita uses lessons learned from her personal grief experience and decades of work with suicide beraved to provide a framework for understanding and managing the unique complexities of suicide grief, empowering bereaved with the reassurance that what they are experiencing is normal for what they have experienced. LaRita aacknowledges the compounded trauma: the fact of death plus the cause of the death..the fact of suicide. She addresses the concept of 'choice" and describes 'flashbacks' and 'phantom pain'. LaRita normalizes the complicated grief response following suicide and suggests how emotional, physical, societal and spiritual conflicts can be resolved in a healthy, hopeful manner.. This book includes anedotes of bereaved impacted by the suicide of a spouse, a parent, military suicide, murder-suicide and multiple deaths and how the survivors worked through their grief and learned to love life again. LaRita offers practical suggestions for protecting the marriage after a child's suicide, helping bereaved children, life insurance, self-care and doing the grief work that enables tereaved to grow from being a victim, to a survivor and, eventually, to a thriver.. 'Finding Peace Without All The Pieces' is a book that every bereavement counselor should have in their libarary and every suicide bereaved will find hope and healing within its pages. It is written as if the author was gently speaking to the reader offering comfort, empathy, extending reassurance that a loved one's suicide IS survivable and the promise that "there will be a time when you won't hurt as badly as you do today...even a time when you will feel joy and love being alive again."
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."
About the author
Six months after the suicide of her 24-year old son in 1978, LaRita Archibald joined the American Association of Suicidology in search of WHY?, initiating over thirty years as a suicidologist and suicide grief peer counselor. In 1980 LaRita founded HEARTBEAT, among the first suicide bereavement support groups, to provide a venue for those suffering suicide loss to gather and offer comfort, validation and encouragement to one another. HEARTBEAT grew to over forty chapters in the U.S., New Zealand and Newfoundland. In 2010 the first HEARTBEAT chapter on a military installation was formed at Ft. Carson, CO. In the early 1980's LaRita joined with other suicide-concerned Coloradoans to form SPARE, a state-wide suicide education and intervention organization and the forerunner of the present Suicide Prevention Coalition of Colorado. LaRita, with another suicide survivor mother and a mental health professional, co-founded the Suicide Prevention Partnership/Pikes Peak Region in 1993. She was one of a four-person team contracted three consecutive years by the U.S. Air Force to develop and train Crisis Response Teams at USAFE, Ramstien, GR. A regular presenter at the annual American Assn of Suicidology conferences, LaRita was among survivors who petitioned for and developed the AAS Survivor Division. She served AAS as co-director of the Survivor Division, on the AAS school suicide prevention program committee, as an editor for Surviving newsletter and as a member of the AAS Suicide Bereavement Support group best practice guidelines committee. LaRita was awarded the AAS Survivor of the Year award in 1995. In 2000 LaRita was invited to present a workshop on surviving after suicide at the military-related Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors conference in Washington, D.C. and thereafter has been an active supporter and presenter at TAPS seminars. At the end of 2011, after over thirty years as HEARTBEAT direcector, LaRita handed the reins of the organization to four dedicated seasoned survivors and looks forward to enjoying the achievements of her nine grandchildren and traveling with Eldon, her high school sweetheart and husband of 62 years.
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