A Beautiful Here: Emerging From The Overwhelming Darkness Of My Son's Suicide
by Linda Phillips
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

"At any given time, to anyone of us, mental illness can strike to change our lives forever."

The author’s son, Nuçi Phillips, was so charming and precocious as a child that she felt he was “an old soul.” He was calm, generous, and unusually clever. But with adolescence, Nuçi began to withdraw. He sought to be alone, often playing his guitar, singing, and writing songs. Plagued by unwanted memories of her own unhappy childhood, Phillips tried to believe that her son would somehow improve. When he tried to burn himself alive by dousing himself with gasoline, she had to face the reality that he was seriously ill. In college, though involved in the Athens, Georgia music scene with many friends, Nuçi killed himself on Thanksgiving Day, 1996, at age 22. Dealing with intense grief, the author focused on setting up Nuçi’s Space, a foundation to help suicidal people and their families, especially reaching out to musicians.

Phillips is a vivid, intelligent writer whose utter frankness will reach any sensitive reader. She cites statistics regarding the rising suicide rate in the US. She decries the bias that many people have against sufferers of mental illness. She states that, though she was fortunate in having sympathetic friends, many relatives of someone who commits suicide will feel coldness, even hostility, and a sense of blame from those around them. She astutely notes the difference in treatment between someone who is suicidal and someone with a physical disease; all too often depressed persons have to wait for therapies and may even be told by professionals to simply get a better attitude. Establishing and operating Nuçi’s Space has been both therapeutic and educational for Phillips. Composed by someone who has been through stages of grief, self-recrimination, and personal renewal, this book is a must-read for those dealing with a depressed, suicidal loved one. It could help save a life.

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