A family healing from suicide — told by a mother and her three children with fresh, poignant art 

In this hopeful five-book set, a mother and her three children ages 5, 7 and 19 share their story after the suicide death of husband and father Don, in 2002.  Their reflections are captured in their own words and through poignant art by artist/storyteller Laurie Phillips. 

Eight years after guiding her family through the devastation of their collective loss, Rebecca 'Becky' Anderson and her children embarked on a healing journey with artist Laurie Phillips. Each family member had a unique story to tell of how the suicide impacted their life, within a book bearing their name: Becky, Pattie, Aidan and Will. The fifth book, Parenting the Suicide Survivors’ Club, is a memoir by Rebecca Anderson that gives context to the individual stories and offers the powerful perspective of a mother, wife and medical professional determined to put her broken family back together. Out of this creative collaboration between artist and suicide loss survivors came profound healing and the five -book set, Suicide Survivors’ Club: A Family’s Journey Through the Death of Their Loved One, winner of a Midwest Book Award (Autobiography/Memoir). 
In 2019 Laurie and Rebecca collaborated with mental health professionals to create Healing After a Suicide Loss: All Ages Workbook + Activity Guide for families, friends, therapists, educators, and facilitators. The questions and activities are intended to guide loss survivors as they navigate their bereavement. Therapists and facilitators can use the workbook/activity guide in conjunction with the 5-book set for individual clients or in group settings. The helpful resources section includes a guide for friends about what to say...and what not to say, safe messaging guidelines for sharing about suicide on social media or in your communities, a list of helpful organizations, and warning signs of suicide.   

WORKSHOPS

The Suicide Survivors’ Club founders developed a workshop inspired by their Suicide Survivors’ Club book series. The workshop is a visual expression of a traumatic experience or loss.

By attending the workshop you will:

  • Understand how visual storytelling helped the Anderson family after their loss
  • Get validation for the ups and downs of how life changes after the suicide of a family member
  • Use images provided by the facilitator to tell your loss story and aid in your healing process

You'll receive a copy of the book set to use as a healing tool on your own, with a therapist or in support group.

For Suicide Loss Survivors 

For Mental Health Professionals 

The Story Portrait workshops are presented through NAMI, MN (National Alliance on Mental Illness, Minnesota) with support from the Minnesota State Arts Board.

“These beautiful books... show that it is not only possible to survive a loved one’s suicide, but also to find beauty in their shortened lives and to thrive after they are gone.” 
- Henry Emmons, MD, author of The Chemistry of Calm and The Chemistry of Joy

“Each volume of the Suicide Survivors' Club is a rich glimpse into the inner thoughts and feelings of a given family member. Reading them is almost like sitting next to the person, listening to them relate what their journey has been like for them.”
John R. Jordan, Ph.D., Taskforce on U.S. National Guidelines for Suicide Postvention 
“As a family therapist specializing in grief, I was most impressed with the way this series captures the internal world of a particular family grieving a suicide death.”
- Janice Winchester Nadeau, PhD, LP, RN, Bereavement Specialist 

"In this artfully crafted set of books, the Anderson family has courageously shared the experience of their healing process from the trauma of the death of a loved one from suicide.  Through the use of storytelling and art, their individual stories have been organically infused with hope, while coping with their unimaginable loss."
Sue Towey, APRN, CNS, MS, Integrative Mental Health Practitioner, Retired Licensed Psychologist

“These books should help any reader to better comprehend the complexity of the process of recovery from the suicide of a loved one, that it can’t be sorted into neat boxes; much of it involves living an ordinary life that makes acres of room for grieving and healing.”
David Morris, PhD,
Licensed Psychologist