But I Didn’t Say Goodbye follows a family that is struck with the unthinkable; the suicide of their father.
The book’s first section provides research-based evidence on suicide, loss and complicated grief. Barbara Rubel provides a foundation for understanding. The second section is written through the eyes of the son as he griefs for the loss of his father by suicide.
Within the story, the reader is taken through finding out that the father is dead, the funeral and living without him afterwards. Each chapter focuses on a specific timeframe of the journey, ten years later reflection, and thought-provoking questions.
The story is an easy (though emotional) read. The interactions of the family members (children, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc.) are beautifully written. Both children are under the age of 10 and need help understanding what is happening and ways to express their myriad of emotions; sadness and anger. Their mom uses language appropriate for each age level when talking to her children. It is a great book to help any family member experiencing significant loss through suicide.
In the end, there is an activity called Pallet of Grief, resources and additional readings. Overall, I think this is a beneficial book.