Book Review - The Gift of Second

In the summer of 2010, I lost my youngest brother to suicide.  That moment changed my family's life forever.  I have felt compelled to share about my experience of losing my brother in order to encourage people who are struggling with a similar loss.  I also have hoped to bring some understanding to my brothers and sisters in Christ who haven't dealt with this type of loss.

For the past year, I have had the privilege of writing a few blog posts for the website The Gift of Second.  It has been a great outlet for me to share some of my story.

I am thankful that Brandy Lidbeck began The Gift of Second as a safe place on the internet for survivors of suicide to connect and be encouraged.

Now Brandy has taken her own experience after losing her mother to suicide, her knowledge as a licensed therapist, and her observations found through running the site, and she has put all of this wisdom into a book also called The Gift of Second:  Healing From the Impact of Suicide.

The Gift of Second released on Amazon in mid-October, and I was so glad to read Brandy's kind and refreshing words around the subject of suicide.

Remember, there is no timetable or limit to grief. Be kind to yourself. Do not compare your grief to others’, as each individual person grieves each individual relationship differently. It is unique, and to shame yourself for not being ‘farther along’ in the grief process discounts the genuine feelings you have. Suicide is tragic, and we need to give ourselves permission to feel the enormity of all the emotions as they present themselves.
— -Brandy Lidbeck, The Gift of Second

Brandy writes about grief, guilt, shame, trauma, finding the right therapy, how to talk about the loss, and forgiveness.  As I read, I was so impressed how comprehensive Brandy's book was.  I couldn't think of a subject pertaining to suicide that was not covered.

After losing my brother, I read a half-dozen books related to suicide loss.  I was dismayed to find that many of the books were just plain weird.  Some of the books were overtly gory in the details they shared.

Brandy is very cautious about not sharing details that could trigger anyone into feelings of post-traumatic stress.  Her book is a safe place to process your feelings, and it is written in the voice of a sympathetic friend with professional, sound advice for healing.

I think we sometimes hold on to the guilt as our last sort of connection to our loved one. We often have a false belief that if we stop feeling guilty for not preventing the suicide, then we, by default, consent to it. It is simply not true.
— Brandy Lidbeck, The Gift of Second

If you have suffered a loss in your life through suicide, I whole-heartedly recommend this book.  If you know someone who has experienced this type of loss, this is a suitable, comprehensive book to gift them.  If you are on staff at a church, I would highly recommend keeping this book on your shelf to give families who come for funerals or counseling after a suicide loss. 

I would love it if you would comment below if you decide to purchase Brandy's new book and any thoughts you have about it.

I know this book will impact many lives, and I thank God that He lead Brandy to create it.