I recognized the anguish, helplessness, and confusion in a friend's Facebook post when she shared that a colleague of hers had very unexpectedly taken her own life. I instantly went into 'helping' mode --sending her a barrage of advice on how to cope with this tragedy. I kw the feelings very well...the immediate, acute sense of loss and overwhelming sorrow, quickly followed by the guilt, the regret, and the second-guessing those left behind wrestle with in trying to make sense out of what appears on the surface to be a very senseless act. The emotional after-effects of suicide on loved ones can be long lasting and devastating. Much of that is due to a sense of shame, regret, and self-blame. I have learned this firsthand. But in the years I have had to try to reconcile these feelings, I have also learned that ultimately they are a burden that is t ours to bear. I hope that by sharing my journey I can help others let these feelings go. In Left Behind, author Virginia Perez shares her experiences in dealing with the emotional repercussions of her mother's depression and eventual suicide, in the hopes that sharing what she has learned will bring comfort, peace, and solace to others who have lost a loved one to suicide. But in the belief that it is much more important to remember people for who they were rather than how they died, she goes a step further to paint a vivid portrait of her mother as both a mother and a person - a vibrant, brilliant, artistic, humorous, and beautiful woman who impressed many people and touched many lives. Ms. Perez also uses the book as a platform to realize an ambition on her mother's behalf by publishing a portfolio of her mother's formal written works, which include social commentary, poetry, and other topical pieces. In the words of one reader, the book is powerful, loving, and compassionate and the formal writings are astounding and provocative.
Virginia Perez is a professional freelance writer, budding violinist and dog lover who lives with and near her family in the Pacific Northwest.