Grieving a Suicide
IVP Books

Grieving a Suicide

A Loved One's Search for Comfort, Answers Hope

by Albert Y. Hsu

Grieving a Suicide
  • Formats: epub, mobi and pdf
  • Published: September 2009
  •  In stock
  • ISBN: 978-0-8308-7541-2
  • Item Code: 7541

  • A 2003 Finalist in the United Kingdom Christian Book Awards

Every seventeen minutes, someone in the United States dies by suicide. It is one of the most serious public health crises of modern times, claiming over one million lives worldwide every


Those who have lost a loved one to suicide experience tremendous shock and trauma, with a confusing mix of emotions--anger, guilt, grief and despair. Suicide also raises heartrending questions: Why did this happen? Why didn't we see it coming? Many also wonder if those who choose suicide are doomed to an eternity separated from God and loved ones. Some may even start asking whether life is worth living at all.

After his father's death by suicide, Albert Hsu wrestled with the intense emotional and spiritual questions surrounding suicide. While acknowledging that there are no easy answers, Hsu

draws on the resources of the Christian faith to point suicide survivors to the God who offers comfort in our grief and hope for the future.

If you have lost a loved one to suicide or provide pastoral care to those left behind, this book is an essential companion for the journey toward healing.

"In Grieving a Suicide, Al Hsu has done what few can do. He has created a thoughtful, empathic, spiritually ennobling and practically helpful account of his response to the loss of his father by suicide. Al?s journey shows how suffering, when we know the Lord, can mature us. I started merely to scan the book just before leaving for a trip, and drawn into the narrative, I read it straight through by the time my flight was finished. Wow!"

Everett L. Worthington, Ph.D, author, Five Steps to Forgiveness and When Someone Asks for Help

"I think the material in this book will be a godsend. . . . It is a solid handbook to propel the reader through the anguish that suicide brings on. This is unlike any other book on this particular subject and will prove to be a must-read for counselors, as well as stricken families."

Barbara Johnson, author of Where Does a Mother Go to Resign?

"The author does an outstanding job exploring his own emotions and spiritual responses to this tragedy. Hsu opens this poignant and informative book with five chapters devoted to the initial aftermath suicide survivors must face. He breaks these key journey-points into five parts: shock, turmoil, lament, relinquishment, and remembrance. Hsu also tackles the toughest questions survivors ask, 'Why?', 'Can suicide be forgiven?' and 'Where is God?' This remarkable resource will surely meet the needs of those dealing with a loved one's suicide. Hsu's words fairly shine with the one commodity most needed at times of such immense pain--hope."

CBA Marketplace (August 2002)

"Hsu gives those who have lost loved ones this way a helpful handbook for dealing with the shock, denial, grieving, the ever-present question 'why' and the awful finality of a sudden death. This book will help survivors understand they are not alone in their suffering. Hsu offers excellent advice on how to move from the grieving period into the recovery period and, finally, into the remembering period. While some of the stories, and Hsu's personal experience, will make you cry, this is a must-have book for anyone who is a suicide survivor. By the time readers finish the book, they will know, thanks to Hsu's encouraging style of writing, they will be able to go on."

Christian Retailing (July 3, 2002)

"Hsu's wise, bittersweet, intelligently written book relates his own coping with unexpected, violent death and compassionately examines the emotional and theological issues of suicide. . . . Respecting his readers--for instance, by acknowledging individual differences in grieving--Hsu encourages remembering while lamenting and realizing that one will never know what could have been. He addresses such difficult, unanswerable questions as 'Why did it happen?' and 'Could anything have prevented it?' while exploring the morality of suicide and the problem of forgiving the suicide with great sensitivity and care. Suffering, he concludes, is part of the human condition. Rather than pondering 'unfathomable mysteries,' it is better to do one's best to achieve relief. Despite suffering, one can still find meaning, connect with others, and hope that good can come from pain and healing from grief. Strongly recommended for those who have lost a loved one to suicide."

Booklist (July 2002)

"This guide for suicide survivors--family and friends of people who took their own lives--maintains InterVarsity Press's tradition of cerebral evangelicalism: it is biblical, well reasoned, clearly presented and thoroughly researched. . . . An unexpected bonus is the personal thread [Albert Y.] Hsu weaves through each chapter, the story of his own deep grief at his father's sudden suicide four years ago. . . . With its careful biblical exposition presented in a friendly homiletical style, Hsu's how-to-think-about-suicide book will have value for evangelical pastors and counselors as much as--perhaps even more than--for the bereaved themselves."

Publishers Weekly (May 27, 2002)


Introduction: For Survivors--the Other Victims of Suicide

Part 1: When Suicide Strikes
1. Shock
2. Turmoil
3. Lament
4. Relinquishment
5. Remembrance

Part 2: The Lingering Questions
6. Why Did This Happen?
7. Is Suicide the Unforgivable Sin?
8. Where Is God When It Hurts?

Part 3: Life After Suicide
9. The Spirituality of God
10. The Healing Community
11. The Lessons of Suicide

Epilogue: Going On


Appendix: Resources for Suicide Survivors and Suicide Prevention




Albert Y. Hsu (pronounced "shee") is senior editor for IVP Books at InterVarsity Press, where he acquires and develops books in such areas as culture, discipleship, church, ministry, and mission. He earned his PhD in educational studies from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois.

Al is the author of Singles at the Crossroads, Grieving a Suicide, and The Suburban Christian. He has been a writer and columnist for Christianity Today and served as senior warden on the vestry of Church of the Savior in Wheaton, Illinois. He and his wife, Ellen, have two sons and live in the western suburbs of Chicago.

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