Book Review: Why? When Both My Parents Took Their Lives

By Yin


This book is not explicitly about mental illness but is on a topic closely related–suicide.

It therefore is not about the attempted suicide of someone suffering from depression. Rather, it is about a woman whose father committed suicide when his life as an invalid became too painful to endure.

The author begins with the last time she saw her elderly father alive, and the first half of the book deals with how she grieved. She was often overwhelmed with sadness and had uncontrollable bouts of crying. It was only after she reluctantly sought counselling at Samaritans of Singapore that the situation got better.

We are also introduced to Healing Bridges, a support group for survivors of family members or friends who have died from suicide. It proved to be helpful for the author and she attended four cycles of the support group over the course of two years. In addition, the author highlights the various ones she met in this support group and how they’ve been helped by it.

The book ends with the chapter, “How Time Heals” and the author ends on a sombre but positive note, elaborating on how she continues to cope in the wake of her father’s suicide.

Why? When both my parents took their lives is probably written for those grappling with the loss of a friend or family member through suicide. It brings one through the initial grieving stage before one might consider seeking help from a counsellor. The pain and the loss experienced may never fade away but will diminish over time and this is the little light at the end of a very long and dark tunnel.

You can find this book in any of our Public Libraries or order it from Epigram Books at this URL:

Written by Rachel T. for The Tapestry Project SG

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