But I Didn’t Say Goodbye: Helping Families After a Suicide by Barbara Rubel Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Author Barbara Rubel shares the journey to help a bereaved family overcome the tragic loss of a family member due to suicide in the book “But I Didn’t Say Goodbye: Helping Families After a Suicide”. 


The Synopsis

But I Didn’t Say Goodbye: Helping Families After a Suicide tells the story of a bereaved family and how each member copes with their traumatic loss. As a suicide loss survivor, the author wrote the story with the entire family in mind. It is written through the eyes of a child, spouse, parents, siblings and friends. We are all impacted by suicide and the chapters explore how everyone grieves in their own way. You will understand how to make meaning in loss and ways to experience personal growth. The chapters focus on a family from the day of the suicide to the anniversary one year later. At the end of each chapter, there are follow-up questions to explore your own loss.

The Review

This is a compelling and heartbreaking revelation. The discussion surrounding the topic of suicide has not always been easy to communicate, and while our understanding of this heartbreaking event has evolved and grown as more information has come to light, the pain that comes with this turn of events does little to take away the pain and suffering that comes to those who are left to pick up the pieces afterward. The author’s connection to this topic and the emotional way she connects to the reader and the subjects of this book made this a gripping book to get lost in.

The balance of support and informational guidance that the book provides to readers was so remarkable to read about. The amount of research and insight that the author poured into the book helped to elevate the more emotional and inspiring moments to help families and loved ones overcome the tragedy and grief that this event brings with it. The relatability of the author’s own experiences and work allows the reader to feel connected and understood, as so many families feel lost or isolated in the wake of this tragedy, and the author does a remarkable job of making them feel heard. 

The Verdict

Memorable, heartfelt, and compelling, author Barbara Rubel’s “But I Didn’t Say Goodbye” is a must-read nonfiction book on grief and the pain of losing someone to suicide. The way the author tackles trauma and explores both sides of the conversation, the psychological aspect of what brought their loved one to that place so that family members could try to find closure and process the grief that they in turn endured, made this an engaging and well-written book that you won’t be able to put down. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

Three weeks prior to Barbara Rubel giving birth to triplets, her father died by suicide. The story of his death was featured in the Emmy award-winning documentary, Fatal Mistakes: Families shattered by suicide, narrated by Mariette Hartley. As a thanatologist, Barbara wrote But I Didn’t Say Goodbye for suicide loss survivors, like herself. Barbara hopes that the 2020 third edition of her book brings survivors comfort and helps them see that they are not alone. She is truly sorry for your loss. Barbara received a BS in psychology and a MA in community health, with a concentration in thanatology. She is a board-certified expert in traumatic stress, and a diplomate with the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress. Visit her website at griefworkcenter.com

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