Mental health nurse Beverly Cobain and crisis intervention specialist Jean Larch have authored a short but inspiring paperback book Dying to Be Free (Hazelden Foundation, 2006) that will serve as a healing guide for suicide surviving families and friends.
Dying to Be Free is a book written in the ink of humanistic spirit, featuring stories of survivors of suicide and how they reunited with life while befriending the memories of their loved ones. The author, Beverly Cobain, tells of her own cousin’s death by suicide and presents a moving picture of what it means to be touched by such a death in family. Of course, the authors do not mean to merely console the survivors but strongly advocate identification of suicidal signs and possible preventive measures.
Suicide is alarming not only in that it brings an insufferable shock to the deceased’s kin and pals but more so due to the fact that suicide can be contagious: guilt, sorrow, and confusion combine to press the survivor(s) to enter the dark tunnel that ends in self-inflicted death. What are the signs of such cases? Can it be prevented? If yes, how to proceed? These questions are all answered clearly by Dying to Be Free and that is where the significance of the work lies.
One important element the authors elaborate in educating about suicide situations is the prevalence of what they call ‘Myths about Suicide’. For example the thought that talking about suicide results in a self-fulfilling prophecy. That these myths can in fact lead indirectly to the killing tunnel is one alarm the authors alert the readers with so as to remind all that ignorance might be an excuse but a fatal one for someone’s life.
Every sensible and caring soul needs to hear the cry of Cobain and Larch and restructure their behavior in order to prevent the deadly pain that drives one we know to death and the pain that follows thereafter.