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Before Their Time
by Mary Stimming
Temple University Press, 1998
Cloth: 978-1-56639-654-7 | eISBN: 978-1-4399-0105-2 | Paper: 978-1-56639-655-4
Library of Congress Classification HV6545.2.B44 1999
Dewey Decimal Classification 155.937

ABOUT THIS BOOK | AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY | TOC
ABOUT THIS BOOK
Before Their Time is the first work  to present adult children survivors' (defined as eighteen or above at the time of the parent's death) accounts of their loss, grief, and resolution following a parent's suicide. In once section, the book offers the perspectives of sons and daughters on the deaths of mothers; in another, the perspectives of sons and daughters on the  deaths of fathers. In a third section, siblings reflect on the shared loss of their mother.

Each of these survivors faces the  common difficulties associated with losing a loved one by suicide. They also experience difficulties specific to their status as both adult and child. Topics such as the impact of the parent's suicide on adult children's personal and  professional choices, marriages and parenting, sibling and surviving parent relationships are explored with sensitivity and insight. Various coping skills, including humor, are described.

The writers describe feelings of regret and responsibility related to their parent's suicide. They express concern about other family members' vulnerability to suicide. They speak openly about the fears and stresses they face and how they cope with them.

The authors ranged in age from nineteen to thirty-six at the time of the parent's death. Between one and  twenty-five years have passed since that tragedy.

In addition to the first-person narratives, the book includes a resource section with a national listing of  suicide survivor support groups; an overview of existing research on survivors of suicide by John L. McIntosh, past president of the American Association of Suicidology; and  an essay on elderly suicide by David C. Clark, secretary-general, International Association for  Suicide, and  editor-in-chief of Crisis. The book is introduced with a Foreword by Rev. Charles Rubey, founder and director of Loving Outreach to Survivors of Suicide.

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