Julie Gray's very intimate and personal memoir of a horrid year of her life spent grieving the death of her bother is both moving and disturbing. Moving because anyone can relate to her self-doubt, soul searching, angst, mixed emotions, sense of loss, sense of being lost, and a thousand other conflicting thoughts and feelings that accompany being a survivor of one who has committed suicide. Disturbing because this could easily be any of us. It is rare to find a book that so clearly unmasks the dark side of a human behavior no one wants to talk about, but almost everyone has thought of doing at one time or another. Her perspective, however, is unique; one that too few people are willing to share in this raw and unencumbered way. This is a must read if you have lost a loved one to suicide or know someone who has. Do yourself or them a favor... buy this book.
In the last year, I have had two friends' family members commit suicide. The end is sudden and violent, and the grief a different shade of gray than anything I've known. Ms. Gray's honest account has helped me be a better friend to those that have lost loved ones in this way. I highly recommend this book to anyone that has lost someone to suicide or trying to comfort someone that has.
"I am Not Myself" courageously acknowledges the emotional turmoil experienced by suicide survivors in the long months after heartbreaking loss. It is the most emotionally honestly written book I have found on this most challenging topic. Survivors of suicide will find a great deal of validation in their traumatic roller coaster of emotions.
People who have not had this kind of experience can never begin to imagine what a nightmare it is, but by reading "I Am Not Myself," they will find understanding and compassion, crucial tools when speaking to someone about their loss.
I highly recommend this book to every person swimming through the turbulent emotions of loss due to suicide.
"It's a special kind of hell, losing someone to suicide. My brother is free, but we who remain are wounded forever."
The experience of bereavement is both familiar and highly individual, with personal variations on well-recognised themes. When the bereavement occurs as a result of suicide, the themes are darker, and with additional bass notes.
When you lose someone to heart disease or cancer others sympathise, share their experience of loss, and offer support. But if you are bereaved by suicide, it can be hard for others to know what to say, or even whether to say anything at all, because there is still something hidden, something shameful, about this mode of death. We may no longer deny those who die this way a churchyard burial but all too often we subtly exclude the survivors from the support we freely offer those bereaved by natural causes.
In this short memoir Julie Gray explores this territory from a highly personal perspective. She is American, now settled in Israel, but her experience transcends boundaries. Her much-loved brother Pete killed himself after what appears to be a long struggle with under-treated depression. In a very raw first person account, she covers the year following his death. Sharing this experience, and how it changed over the course of the year, may have helped her navigate her own grief: but it has a wider value. It shows others who are similarly bereaved that they they are not alone, that the questions they ask themselves have all been asked before, and ultimately, that this grief which dare not speak its name can be borne.
I read this eBook today, it took about a half hour, it is very brief. Like the author, I too belong to this grief club, but wish I didn't. It is almost a year ago that I lost my son, my only child to this plague. Many of the feelings expressed by the author I feel as well, plus a whole lot more. With the Pain, shock, and disbelief there is anger, and a struggle to believe that it's even real. And then the guilt. Not that my wife and I didn't try everything we could think of, we did. But in retrospect, there's so much more we could have done, we just didn't realize it at the time. There really are no answers, after the fact, just pain and grief.
This eBook didn't help me, but I didn't expect it to. It did give me some insights into the mind of someone who has experienced something similar, and confirm that the things I am feeling are normal to feel for me right now...for that I thank you.