Written by Russell Friedman, founder of California's Grief Recovery Institute, where Kristi received here training as a grief recovery counselor.
INTRODUCTION: Navigating Your Way Through the Tunnel of Grief
In Suicide's Wake: A Word to Those Left Behind
PART ONE: MY STORY
Chapter 1: Life is Beautiful
In the beginning: how Kristi and Bill met, fell in love, and built a happy, healthy life together in Southern California.
Chapter 2: Rosarito
Kristi and Bill's love affair with Baja and their relocation full-time to Rosarito, Mexico. They were supposed to be riding off into the sunset together, but instead, the idyllic seaside ex-pat life they envisioned took a unexpectedly dark turn.
Chapter 3: Descent into Darkness
Bill's descent into depression and mental illness, culminating in the unthinkable: the moment he ended his life by stepping in front of a speeding commuter train.
Chapter 4: 1,000 Tons of Steel
Bill's shocking, violent suicide and the devastation left in its wake.
Chapter 5: The Mourning After
How Kristi began to pick up the pieces, one step at a time, and what she wishes she had known before and after her husband's death.
PART TWO: YOUR PLAN FOR MOVING THROUGH GRIEF
Chapter 6: CREATE STRUCTURE
The need for structure and routine on the road to moving through grief. Includes techniques and tips for devising a daily structure that works for you and helps you move toward health and healing. Chapter also discusses mindfulness and the power of being fully present.
Chapter 7: BREATHE
Discusses the importance of breathing and breath work in your daily living. Tips and techniques for deep breathing, progressive relaxation response, visualization and other relaxation techniques.
Chapter 8: EAT
A far-ranging discussion of the essentials of nutrition and the foods that will help you as you move through the grief process. Includes topics including "decision fatigue," a recipe for the smoothie I start every day with, and a shopping list of items to keep stocked in your pantry and fridge at all times.
Chapter 9: SLEEP
Broad discussion of the relationship between sleep and health (physical and mental), including tips and techniques for sleeping soundly, suggestions for diet tweaks and natural supplements that will aid in optimal sleep.
Chapter 10: MOVE
Deep delve into exercise and the connection between movement and health, the mind-body relationship, and tips/techniques for finding an exercise routine that works for you as you move through the grieving process.
Chapter 11: TALK
Discussion of various forms of "talk therapy," and how speaking your truth about pain, anger, fear, disappointment, guilt, joy, loneliness, etc., and the spectrum of emotions that are likely to arise when faced with traumatic loss.
Chapter 12: AFFIRM
An exploration of the power of words and how speaking daily affirmations is a tool for coping with and moving through the grieving process. Also includes a look at various alternative therapies such as Reiki, biofeedback, aromatherapy, and acupuncture that may be useful tools in moving through grief.
Chapter 13: MANAGE
One of the biggest challenges as you move through grief will be managing sudden temporary upsurges of grief (STUG) and handling both internal and external emotional triggers.
Chapter 14: WRITE
Writing down your thoughts and feelings related to the grief of loss has been proven scientifically to be physicallyand emotionally beneficial. Tips and techniques for how and what to write without fear or judgment. Write yourself well.
Chapter 15: BELIEVE
A frank discussion of the religion, spirituality, faith, and beliefs as they relate to grief. Regardless of your spiritual predilections before suffering tragic loss, many of us find ourselves wrestling with deep existential issues of faith, doubt, the nature of God, and whether God actually exists. Some pointers for self-care as you navigate this profound aspect of the grieving process.
Lessons learned, hopes for the future, and next steps as you navigate the tunnel of grief.
An update on Kristi four years (or the appropriate number of years given the date of the book's publication) after Bill's death and her continued work with suicide prevention efforts, grief counseling, and mental health care.