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Publisher's Summary

From the chief medical correspondent of ABC News, an eloquent, heartbreaking, yet hopeful memoir of surviving the suicide of a loved one, examining this dangerous epidemic and offering first-hand knowledge and advice to help family and friends find peace. 

Jennifer Ashton, MD, has witnessed firsthand the impact of a loved one’s suicide. When her ex-husband killed himself soon after their divorce, her world - and that of her children - was shattered. Though she held a very public position with one of the world’s largest media companies, she was hesitant to speak about the personal trauma that she and her family experienced following his death. A woman who addresses the public regularly on intimate health topics, she was uncertain of revealing her devastating loss - the most painful thing she’d ever experienced. But with the high-profile suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, Dr. Ashton recognized the importance of talking about her experience and the power of giving voice to her grief. She shared her story with her Good Morning America family on air - an honest, heartbreaking revelation that provided comfort and solace to others, like her and her family, who have been left behind. 

In Life After Suicide, she opens up completely for the first time, hoping that her experience and words can inspire those faced with the unthinkable to persevere. Part memoir and part comforting guide that incorporates the latest insights from researchers and health professionals, Life After Suicide is both a call to arms against this dangerous, devastating epidemic, and an affecting story of personal grief and loss. In addition, Dr. Ashton includes stories from others who have survived the death of a loved one by their own hand, showing how they survived the unthinkable and demonstrating the vital roles that conversation and community play in recovering from the suicide of a loved one. The end result is a raw and revealing exploration of a subject that’s been taboo for far too long, providing support, information, and comfort for those attempting to make sense of their loss and find a way to heal.  

©2019 Jennifer Ashton (P)2019 HarperAudio

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What listeners say about Life After Suicide

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  • JC
  • 07-23-19

shameless self promotion

not helpful for someone dealing with the loss of a loved one to suicide. she is more concerned about talking about how famous she is and talk shows than giving actual helpful advice to someone dealing with a loss. no idea why it was so highly rated.

7 people found this helpful

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Phenomenal

Since having lost my brother to suicide over four years ago I’ve read almost everything available on the topic. This is the first book which I found to be a truly powerful and extremely well done resource. It’s filled with excellent advice and information. I found it inspiring and it breathed new life into my pursuit through my continued grief towards the light. I wish it had been available 4 years ago. I’m thrilled this quality is available for all survivors out there - new and old. I recommend it to anyone having lost a loved one to suicide.

7 people found this helpful

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Not a book for survivors.

This is about the author's personal experience going through the suicide of a loved one only 1.5 years after it happened. There are two things about this book I found misleading. 1. the title of Life after Suicide made me think it was about helping survivors to cope. It's not. It is about a celebrity's personal experience. 2. It is written by a doctor. This made me think it would have professional insights in healing. Unfortunately, this book it just another celebrity read presented as a resource for survivors. It is not a resource for survivors. Unless you are interested in Jennifer Ashton as a celebrity, don't waste your money.

6 people found this helpful

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Disappointing

Too much name-dropping, which was a real turn-off to me. I'm a survivor of the suicide of my son and have found more useful information in my own journey.

6 people found this helpful

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Wish I had quit listening sooner...

... but kept hoping it would offer some redeeming qualities. Had hoped to feel some sort of connection but was too lost in her ego and name dropping.

2 people found this helpful

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Heartbreakingly familiar

Although, I have seen (in reviews and online) suicide survivors who feel that Dr. Ashton's experience isn't relatable to them because of her economic status and having supports that most don't get the luxury of which is true many face serious financial struggles Along with lack a of professional help after a suicide loss. On a human level her emotional experience with suicide is SO relatable no amout of money or resources makes you immune to the pain and grief that comes in the aftermath of suicide . as a suicide survivor myself I applaud her willingness to speak out about suicide and mental illness. I would recommend the book. I truly wish dr. Ashton and her children the best on what is a difficult journey for anyone..

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Wow

I love her honesty. It is difficult to listen to a woman who went through something similar to me but had all of the support I didn't have. It's unrealistic. I wasn't a millionaire at the time, I wasn't surrounded by friends, love, cards, gifts, etc. I didn't have therapy, or enough money to move away. I didn't have personal trainers, etc. and most people don't. I was in basic training at the Army and I had no support. My family handled it horribly. I wish I had the kind of support she had. I didn't. So it's hard to relate. Overall it's a great book and I wish it were available 5 years ago.

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Sadly, I cannot recommend

With no disrespect for the author and her family that has been through extreme trauma, I cannot recommend this book for most people.

As other reviews I have read note, Dr. Ashton's life is privileged, connected, and supported thru the trauma of suicide. Unfortunately, that is not the case for most people. There is copious name dropping: from the name of her gym to the names, titles, education, and even Olympic medals of her friends. Despite having lived in NYC and gone to her school, I was put off by this throughout the book. My final grievance - warning, really - is that Dr. Ashton makes a point of saying, sometimes in uncomfortable detail, the mode of suicide for each and every story she writes about in her book. Describing a suicide death can be a trigger for trauma - especially for those who found their loved one, it is important that people know they will be confronted with suicide details throughout the book before the start it.

For me, I listened to most of the book - skipping the chapter I think was devoted to her find a new love, and the epilogue which I just couldn't stomach any more description of her perfection and perfect kids. I blew off the name dropping perfection of her life to wait for a golden nugget of honesty and truth that resonated with me. If you are up to the work this book requires to find those nuggets, I think the audible version is best because you can at least hear in the narration the sarcastic boasts versus the honest bragging - a paper version I would have put down in the first chapter.

Sadly, I think Dr. Ashton wants to be a teacher and even a beacon of hope for large numbers of suicide survivors - especially if they are also her much loved TV audience on her much loved TV show by her much loved TV network.
Unfortunately, she did neither for me with this book which is little more than a family journal her children and grandchildren might look back on someday as the family story.

1 person found this helpful

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Perfect

I've always adored Dr. Ashton! This book was exactly what I needed! Thank you

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Helpful

I found this book helped me look at things with a new perspective. I am glad that I heard it shortly after my brothers suicide as I feel it helped me minimize shame and blame. I am grateful the author shared her story

1 person found this helpful

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  • Belbob75
  • 08-15-21

Heartbreaking and Comforting

Thank you Jennifer for laying yourself and you family wide open in this book. Your words and I will not say advice because at no stage do you advise but guidance and lived through experience has helped me keep on fighting every next moment. Thank you.

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  • Graham Jolly
  • 09-13-19

Not for me

The author seems more interested in dropping names and the use of the personal pronoun “I”, only to change it out for “me”.
There are much better books than this for the survivors of suicide.

1 person found this helpful