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Fierce Goodbye: Living in the Shadow of Suicide Paperback – January 2, 2004

12 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Herald Press (January 2, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0836192672
  • ISBN-13: 978-0836192674
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,119,783 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By D. Visser on September 13, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is an excellent one for anyone who has experienced a family member or friend's death by suicide. It answers many questions that the remaining person has regarding the shock of this kind of tragic loss. I highly recommend this book as a source of healing for those going through the grief process. It answered many of my questions when I went through a situation like the one that the author experienced.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Carol Mckenna on October 6, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Lovely poetry, well documented scripture writings related to topic of 'suicide' ~ some personal insight into being the ones left behind ~ would like to have more of the personal 'how to' in the book ~ Overall ~ will serve as an excellent book in the educational arena ~ excellent
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Format: Paperback
The empathy is clear to survivors of suicide. The author also does a very good job of pointing out that no where in the bible where suicide occurs is it condemned as scandalous or for the most part, different from another death. However, I can not help but believe that the author either neglected completely to investigate the modern post Vatican II position of the Catholic church or he deliberately has chosen to mis-represent the Catholic church's position on suicide. Based on the scholarly research he did and provides in his appendix, I must believe it is the later as when he speaks about the Catholic church's position on suicide, items are cherry picked and in fact pulled from older ideas before the current understanding of mental illness. The Catholic Church does not say suicide is an unforgivable sin. Its does not condone it outright but leaves it to God's infinite mercy to decide and the Catechism is of the Catholic Church is quite clear that someone who commits suicide is for the most case not in their right mind and is not completely culpable for their actions (I am paraphrasing). As the author is a Protestant and quotes what he calls the non canonical book 2 Maccabees, for then why quote from it? If he does, he should also bring in purgatory as it is from Maccabees that we first hear of prayer for the dead. In other areas he stresses that in the time of Aquinas the Holy Roman Empire and the Catholic Church were one in the same. By the 13th century, the Holy Roman Empire had become a shell and in fact, Aquinas was in lands outside the Holy Roman Empire which was at that point more a Germanic realm. Our older daughter recently took her own life at 20 years old. She was a practicing, active Catholic; in fact a Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist.Read more ›
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Freeborn John on June 18, 2011
Format: Paperback
On December 9, 1983 Kate a young woman in her early thirties killed herself by gunshot - this death left behind a young child and husband. Moreover, Kate was also a Christian and left behind a family of Christians. Such a state of affairs is one that can be a source of shame and difficulty for Christians. Aside from the general guilt and stigma suicide continues to bring there is the almost universal sentiment that suicide is a sin, even a mortal sin.

The death of Kate, or more specifically, the after-effects of Kate's death is the subject of Fierce Goodbye. The title is taken from one of the co-author's poems written shortly after Kate's death, the relevant section being "You reveled deeply / in your pain / until, with only death / to gain, gave one last cry / to sever hurt - / then one last fierce goodbye". As the poem illustrates this is not an academic treatise and, in this, is reminiscent of Nicholas Wolterstorff's Lament for a Son.

In the case of the Carrs it was a daughter in law who died but some of the same raw truth-telling is present but, in the case of the Fierce Goodbye I do get the sense that it emotion has been censored somewhat in respect to feeling a need to put a positive shine on the feelings of tragedy.

There are, I think, two aspects to this book. First there is the personal recollection and voice given to the grieving process. Second, there is a more formal examination of suicide in church tradition and scripture which leads to the conclusion that there is no basis for the assertion that suicide is sinful, mortal or otherwise.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 18, 2012
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THis book is helpful in dealing with deep grief. It is encouraging and helps one to know how to keep moving through the maze.
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We are also the parents of a suicide victim, stemming from an accident when both sons were young, and the youngest one died in a tragic accident. I knew it would happen to our surviving son one day, and we tried to help him, but he just said that nothing would change what he saw and what he endured. He always felt guilty that he survived and his little brother didn't.
This book was a little different, but I'm beginning to understand that though the suicides are similar, and cause the deepest ocean of grief, everyone has their own story. And we each have to find our own way through. Closure? We've lost two precious boys and there is no closure. Not ever.
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