After Suicide: A book review

After Suicide by Charlotte Underwood

After Suicide is a window into the life of the author. It not only shares moving insights of her life but reveals quite a bit of the lives around her. The unique perspective offered is a fresh view with a magnifying glass on the grief she cycles through.

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At the same time, her compassion for the grief of those around her is expanded. This book is a brilliant reminder that grief is very individualized. Everyone grieves at their own pace and in their own time.

The author reviews the events in her father’s life before he dies by suicide. While this is a sobering read it is not graphic. There are no details of the mechanics of suicide. The author seems to be very careful not to prop up triggers that might excite the reader. On the contrary not only is the book written tastefully it is written tenderly. She reflects on her father lovingly and shows both herself and others compassion in a way that shows an unseasonal maturity.

She may say that maturity has come after the fact, but this reviewer would argue that the maturity was there, to begin with, or she wouldn’t have been able to come out the other side so well as soon as she has. The author does not blame or finger point to anyone. She shares a huge part of her heart and lays her life out for judgment.

All the reader can really do is feel some of the author’s feelings and grow to care for her. How someone can endure some of what the author does, and wind up feeling patient, and generous toward others, is an unexpected gift to the reader, and a reminder to live a life of compassion in return.


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