Wendy Parmley suffered a disabling bike accident in September 2011. Unable to return to her 20 year nursing career because of the continued effects of her injuries, Wendy began the slow and painful penning of her angel mother’s story and Wendy’s healing journey following her mom’s suicide death. Wendy’s mom took her own life when just 31 years old, leaving behind her husband of thirteen years and their five young children.
Wendy has long advocated for suicide prevention and has participated on various professional and community based groups dedicated to that end. She also recognizes the need to unashamedly support those who must continue to live in the painful aftermath of a loved one’s suicide and passionately lends her voice to that cause.
Prior to her bike accident, Wendy worked in nursing leadership for 14 years, earning her MBA degree from Brigham Young University in 2007. Despite her continued limitations, Wendy is grateful to spend more time with the love of her life, her husb
and Mark. She is ever grateful for his support and the support of their three married sons and their wives, their amazing daughter, and their beautiful two grandchildren who fill their life with sunshine.
Guest Post: Reflections
A few weeks ago, we learned of the death of one of our favorite actors. Along with the rest of the country, I was stunned and heartbroken. News of Robin Williams’ death came on the eve of the release of my book Hope after Suicide: One Woman’s Journey from Darkness to Light which details my own healing journey following the suicide death of my mother nearly forty years ago. I was twelve years old at the time, the oldest of five children, and my mom was just thirty-one.
Reflecting on my own experiences, my first thought was for Williams’ family, for his wife, and for his children who must continue to live in the aftermath of his unexpected death. I pictured their grief, their loss, the hopelessness they must feel as they try to find meaning in his death while remembering his life.
The next week brought a whirlwind of activity as the world grappled to understand how one so loved and admired could be so depressed and despondent that he no longer wished to live. In radio interviews, I was asked time and time again, what are the symptoms of depression, how can we save a life, did you know your mom was depressed, do you wish you could have done something to stop it?
Of course I wish I could have stopped it, but I was TWELVE. And the reality is, in 1975 we didn’t know as much about depression. We didn’t readily know the “Signs” of suicide risk. We didn’t have a National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
But we do now.
And yet, in the United States there are more than 38,000 suicide deaths each year and over 1,000,000 suicide attempts (afsp.org). Chances are good that nearly everyone has heard of a friend, a friend of a friend, or a family member who has been affected by suicide or mental illness. And chances are good that you are unsure what to say, how to feel, and how to help mend broken hearts.
This past month, many people have asked me if Hope after Suicide is a book for the depressed person – or if it is a book for the person who has experienced suicide loss. And I would answer: it is a book for all who seek to understand. It is a book for those who have experienced tragedy – and those who haven’t. It is a book for ANYONE who has questions about life and death, heaven and hell – and redemption. It is a book for those who seek the light.
1 copy of Hope After Suicide
Print copy to US only, Ebook Internationally