Monday, May 6, 2019

Dr. Jennifer Ashton on 'Life After Suicide'

Dr. Jennifer Ashton on 'Life After Suicide': 'Losing a loved one to suicide does not make the survivor weak'

Good Morning America
May 6, 2019
By sharing my story and the stories of others in my book "Life After Suicide," I have started to heal from the trauma of suicide. I am far from an expert, and part of me feels as if my pain will always be massive.

ABC News Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton is sharing the story of her ex-husband Rob's suicide and how it affected her family in her new book, "Life After Suicide: Finding Courage, Comfort and Community After Unthinkable Loss," in hopes of helping others heal after a similarly unthinkable tragedy.

As a doctor, it is much easier for me to be the one helping than it is to be the one asking for help. I much prefer being the one giving the healing advice than one receiving it. Also, despite my very public role in national media, I am actually a very private person, especially when it comes to something that I could associate with weakness, vulnerability, imperfection and failure.

So when it came to my own healing from the suicide death of my ex-husband, and the father of my two teenage children, the thought of speaking about my pain and grief publicly was terrifying.

Unfortunately, when suicide hit my family in 2017, I perceived this tragedy as the quintessential example of all of those negative traits -- and I obviously realize that I couldn't have been more wrong. But still, even though I knew rationally that losing a loved one to suicide does not make the survivor weak or a failure in any way, emotionally, I felt otherwise.
It's estimated that for every death by suicide in the U.S., 135 people are directly affected. This translates to over 6 million people a year. That's more than 20 million people in just the last four years alone.
read more here

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