Dying to be Free

Dying to be Free

Dying to be Free: A Healing Guide for Families after a Suicide

Cobain, Beverly






Honest, gentle advice for those who have survived an unspeakable loss—the suicide of a loved one.

Transforming suffering into strength, misconceptions into understanding, and shame into dignity, Beverly Cobain and Jean Larch break through the dangerous silence and stigma surrounding suicide to bring readers this much-needed book. Cobain’s achingly honest account of dealing with the suicide of a loved one, along with personal stories from others who experienced this profound loss, provide powerful insight into the confusion, fear, and guilt family members experience. A chapter about “the suicidal mind” helps families not only comprehend the depth of their loved one’s pain prior to suicide, but also understand why such desperation is so difficult to recognize—even in the closest relationships. By sharing survivor stories as well as the latest thinking and statistics about suicide, Cobain and Larch break through myths, misinformation, and misunderstandings. The result is a book of extraordinary compassion and steadfast guidance for anyone awash in the aftermath of unfathomable loss.

“This frank book about suicide is a giant step toward bringing another form of mental illness out of the closet.
— Mindy Greiling, Minnesota State Representative and National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) National Board of Directors

“This book is a masterpiece for the survivors of suicide and those who care about them.”
— David Satcher, M.D., Ph.D., 16th U.S. Surgeon General and Interim President of Morehouse School of Medicine



I am so thankful that I found this book! My Husband, a vibrant, successful, hansome United States Marine took his own life a year and a half ago. How could someone who had so much to live for do such a thing? How could he leave us? What was he thinking? Why didn’t I see it coming? In a desperate search for answers I read, talked, and listened. When I read Dying To Be Free, Many Of my questions were answered and I began my path of healing. This simple concise book helped me understand how my husband got to the point where suicide seemed like the ONLY option. The authors do an excellent job of tying together their own experiences with many other survivors and family members to find commonalities which help us to understand what went wrong.

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This insightful book was an important part in the healing process for me after a close family member ended her life. It gives you an idea of what is going through someones mind when they are contemplating suicide. It also shares many other families’ stories. It is a short, easy read. I know I will read it again.

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A short book, but very powerful. Statistics on prevalence of suicide and yet the difficulty in predicting and preventing. Formula for suicide: “psychache” + thought of death as an escape. I found the chapter called “The Fatal Journey” especially helpful in my attempt to understand why Josh made his decision seven months ago. A couple of chapters are devoted to the grieving process of survivors and some helpful thoughts on how to cope. A chapter called “Staying Alive” is relevant for those who know someone who is suicidal or struggles with suicide. The last chapter recounts stories of the connection between survivor and loved one who died.

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Posted on

February 17, 2015