Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Book Review: After My Son's Suicide by Darla Isackson

Once upon a time when both I and the Internet were young—oh yes, my children, there was a time when the World Wide Web did NOT exist—I came upon a lovely young woman named Darla Hanks who was making a reputation for herself as the co-owner of a magazine, and a writer, editor, and speaker of great skill and renown among the women of the LDS Church. She was much sought after, and enjoyed several years of service and fame in the land.

Then the time came that life was not good, but she pressed forward, overcame her obstacles, and eventually became Darla Isackson. She learned many lessons. I'm sure she breathed a sigh of relief at coming through a great trial, then went on with her life.

One day the unthinkable happened: her sweet son unimaginably put the barrier of death between himself and his loved ones. Years of pain and searching the depths of her mother's soul followed. At last, she wrote an intensely personal book to share what she learned.  

After My Son's Suicide: An LDS Mother Finds Comfort in Christ and Strength to Go On is this effort of her heart, a gift to all who have suffered and wondered, "Why me?" It is for all those, who, as she says in her Introduction, are "dangling by a rope of faith over a precipice of sorrow—experiencing a true test." She goes on to say, " But the test is not so much in the strength of our own faith as in our willingness to rely on the strength of Christ, who is mighty to save. Not one of us is strong enough by ourselves, but nothing is too hard with Him by our side."

I marveled at the wisdom of Darla's Author's Note, which made thorough sense in a context that can be confusing and daunting:
In common vernacular, the term “survivor” is often used to denote loved ones left behind after a suicide. When you see that term in this book, you will know that is what it refers to. For instance, I have referred to a web site called SOS, which means Survivors of Suicide. However, this term can be confusing to some who first think of “survivor” as one who attempts suicide but survives. For this reason I have chosen to use the term “suicide grievers” or just “grievers” most of the time. Also you will note that I never use the term: “commit suicide.” “Died by suicide” is so much more accurate.

Darla gently guides the griever from clinging to hope to forgiving the one who died and others, reclaiming life, and rebuilding on the Rock of Christ, until the light returns and life goes on.

This book will make you cry, it will make you think, and ultimately, reading and studying it will help you find peace, solace, and healing—and the strength to go on.

Darla Isackson's website
is found here. Her marvelous book can be ordered at Amazon.

Direct your favorite bookstore to order After My Son's Suicide from:
Brigham Distributing
110 S. 800 W.
Brigham City, Utah 84302
(435) 723-6611

You will need to give the bookstore the title, author, and this information as well: # ISBN-10: 0981787436 or # ISBN-13: 978-0981787435.


  1. Marsha, Thank you for the review and letting us know about this book. It sounds like a great book to give to a couple of my close friends/family. I'm sure we have all been touched by the tragedy of suicide on some level, and the pain is only enhanced by the discomfort/stigma/difficulty of talking things through.

  2. Thanks Marsha. Wow. Your timing is amazing. Just in the past two weeks our family has had two friends take their own lives. I feel so sad for their families and was looking for someway to share these thoughts. hugs~

  3. I meant to comment yesterday when I first read this post, but some things really touched me and I got distracted with cutting and pasting so I could save them.

    LOVE THIS from the author: "But the test is not so much in the strength of our own faith as in our willingness to rely on the strength of Christ, who is mighty to save."

    Thank you for sharing!

  4. Marsha,

    My grandson was a suicide "victim" several years ago. Articles by Sister Isaacson have helped my daughter-in-law particularly. But I think she needs this book. Thank you for your review of it.


  5. I also lost a grandson to suicide, so I know how devastating it is to family members. Bless you for having the courage to write the book.

  6. Thank you for this review. And thank you to Darla for writing this much needed book.


I welcome your comments.

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