Preview of REFLECTIONS ON LIVES LOST: A JOURNEY THROUGH SUICIDE

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Prologue

This is a story about tragedy; the tragedy of a life that ended too soon as a result of depression, guilt, and a choice that can never be reversed. It is a story about choices, loss, consequences and devastation. It is also a story of those left behind.

Part 1: The Big D was written by Nelson, who tragically ended his own life after battling with depression. Part 2: Timeline was written by Grace, Nelson’s fiancée, and is an hour-by-hour account of the day Grace found Nelson dead and the days that followed. Part 3: The Big Loss was also written by Grace who has been left behind to deal with the aftermath. Part 4: Reflections, again written by Grace, offers suggestions on dealing with a tragic, sudden loss.

Both Nelson and Grace were living in Korea at the time of his death. Their families were far away in their home countries and had to hear the news via telephone and then travel from afar to help deal with the arrangements. A difficult situation was made worse due to language barriers and cultural differences they faced on arrival in Korea.

Both stories are unfinished. Nelson died before he finished writing and so, like his life, his story remains incomplete. Grace’s story, which continues each day, is also unfinished as her pain and sadness will last a lifetime.

Nelson wanted to overcome his afflictions and share his story to help others who are also suffering in silence. His idea was to give a voice to the many who feel desperate and who have lost hope. Grace wanted to share her story in the hope that it may help those dealing with intense grief.

It is Grace’s dream that their words reach those who are contemplating ending their lives and that those words have the power to give them the strength to continue living. For those who are left behind because they have lost someone they love, she hopes these words bring them some comfort in knowing they do not suffer alone. She knows what words cannot say. She is with them.

Ultimately, Grace hopes the choice Nelson made has released him from the pain and suffering he endured and that he is now at peace. Hopefully, his suffering has ended. Hers, however, has just begun. But, like Nelson, she has a choice. His death has forever changed her, but she can choose how. She can allow it to take her over and stop living, or she can use her grief to help others and become a stronger, more compassionate person. Grace has chosen life and hopes other survivors and sufferers of depression will do the same. It would be a tribute to Nelson and Grace if their stories help just one person to go on and live another day.

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