Suggested Interview Prompts and Questions

Who would benefit from this book?

Why is grief by suicide more complicated than other types of grief?

A lot of people are impacted by a death by suicide. Could you talk about that?

What do you mean when you say that losing someone to suicide is “as lonely as it gets?”

You speak of the courage involved in facing the loss of someone by suicide. Can you explain what you mean by that?

How would you define “the transformative journey of the suicide survivor?”

Why is telling the story of your loved one’s life and death so important?

Is it possible to heal loss by suicide when it happened several years ago?

What do you mean when you say that there are different types of grieving? What are they?

You mention some precautions about using journaling to heal loss by suicide. Could you elaborate on those?

Tell us about your brother, Steve. What kind of person was he? What kinds of challenges did he struggle with? In what ways was he a suicide risk?

Tell us about your relationship with him. What are some of your best memories involving him?

Tell us about how you coped with his suicide in the immediate aftermath. What do you mean when you say you were “carried by grace?”

How can engaging the imagination help in healing and/or transforming loss by suicide?

You mention feeling relieved when you first heard of your brother’s suicide, and then feeling shame at your reaction. Can you speak about that?

Talk about the shock that suicide survivors experience. How did it impact you?

What do you mean by The Divine and how did your relationship with it help you in healing/transforming after your brother’s suicide?

What is meant by the statement, “The history of suicide in Christian Europe is the official outrage and unofficial despair?”

Tell me about the stigma associated with suicide and its impact. How does it affect family members of victims of suicide?

How did guilt impact you after your brother’s suicide?

How does shame impact suicide survivors?

Talk about the role of mercy in healing loss by suicide. You say that denial can be a kind of mercy? What do you mean by that?

How do you distinguish between helpful questions and unhelpful questions that beset suicide survivors?

You speak of deaths that aren’t officially suicides but are considered such by suicidologists. What do you mean by that?

In what way can suicide be considered “an outcry of the soul?”

What is meant by “mourning?”

You write about how experiencing loss by suicide can unveil other losses. What do you mean by that?

How long does it take to get over the suicide of a loved one?

In what ways can fear impede healing loss by suicide?

What do you mean by “the Holy Land of the Heart?” What are some practices that can help people access that place?

What do you mean by “embracing the other?”

Why is it important to find meaning when you’ve lost someone to suicide? What are some ways in which suicide survivors have found meaning after their loss?

It’s been 13 years since your brother died by suicide. How do you view his death now?

What do you mean when you say that the journey through grief is “more labyrinthine than linear?”

How can journal-writing help heal loss by suicide?

How can welcoming grief be a good thing?

In what way is the journey of the suicide survivor transformative?

You talk about continuing your relationship with your brother after his death and about having a different kind of relationship with him now. How is that possible?

What kind of transformation have you gone through as a result of your brother’s suicide?

You mention your own suicide attempt at age 25. What did you learn from that experience? How do you feel about it now?

What was your most important way of healing from the suicide of your brother?

You often say in your book that our culture doesn’t deal well with grief or death. Are there any examples of cultures that do?

What do you have to say to people who don’t feel compelled or interested in exploring their feelings after losing someone to suicide?