Welcome to A News Cafe’s Online Book Club: ‘Will’s Choice’ – Come on in, join the conversation below

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Well, as planned, the day has arrived when we can discuss “Will’s Choice” for our online book club. We had a month to read the book, and today I welcome your thoughts about the book, as well as the topic of  suicide.

Click here to read the article where we introduced the topic earlier this month.

This online book is a partnership between A News Café, the Shasta County Health and Human Services Agency and the community-based Suicide Prevention Workgroup. It convened in honor of National Suicide Prevention Week, September 4-10.

For those who didn’t read “Will’s Choice,” it’s a true story by Gail Griffith, a mother who chronicled her 17-year-old son’s journey from suicide attempt to recovery.

I’m happy to say that Will lived. He wrote the book’s epilogue, “In Will’s Own Words,” which was actually one of my favorite parts of the book, mainly because he sounded like just another college kid, and I felt an exhale of relief that he’d be OK after all.

One thing I wondered about is how Will would handle his suicide-attempt legacy that’s been set forever in print. I sometimes felt like a voyouer reading letters to and  I don’t know exactly how he feels about it, but Griffith gives insights about her reasons behind writing such a raw and personal book.

For example, at one point Gail Griffith talked about being in a group therapy session with other parents and kids, and a woman in the group – a mother, whom btw, was an emergency room doctor, replied to Gail’s fears that Will would attempt suicide again.

“Well, if someone’s bound and determined to commit suicide, there’s not much you can do about it,” the mother said.

Though Griffith said she stifled the desire to leap from her chair and “grab the woman by the throat” – she had this thought:

The point of writing a memoir as candid and as painful as this one, and the reason I am willing to risk exposing my son, his former girlfriend, myself and my family, is to challenge the wickedly misguided motion that (1) a person suffering from depression ‘wants to die,’ and that (2) there is ‘nothing anyone can do about it.’

I appreciated the facts that Griffith threw in every so often, such as how, in the United States, there are twice as many suicides as homicides. Rather sobering.

And those who didn’t read “Will’s Choice”, what are your thoughts and observations about suicide in general? Have you ever known someone who’s committed suicide? And here’s a question that’s always interested me: What do you think about schools addressing suicide, in light of some educators’ beliefs that talking about suicide will plant the suggestion in kids’ minds.

While you ponder, I’ll repeat a local statistic: More than seven in 10 people in Shasta County know someone who has died by suicide. These are our friends, family and neighbors, and too often, stigma discourages these survivors of suicide loss from talking about their loved one or seeking the help they need.

Readers, OK, it’s your turn. Your thoughts?

Meanwhile, Shasta County Health and Human Services has a lot helpful information on this site, especially with this topic in mind. Click here to check it out.

Independent online journalist Doni Chamberlain- Greenberg founded what’s now known as anewscafe.com in 2007 with her son, Joe Domke of the Czech Republic. Prior to 2007 Greenberg was an award-winning newspaper opinion columnist, feature and food writer recognized by the Associated Press, the California Newspaper Publishers Association and E.W. Scripps. She lives in Redding, CA.

A News Cafe, founded in Shasta County by Redding, CA journalist Doni Greenberg, is the place for people craving local Northern California news, commentary, food, arts and entertainment. Views and opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of anewscafe.com

 

 

Doni Chamberlain
Independent online journalist Doni Chamberlain founded what’s now known as anewscafe.com in 2007 with her son, Joe Domke. Chamberlain is an award-winning newspaper opinion columnist, feature and food writer recognized by the Associated Press, the California Newspaper Publishers Association and E.W. Scripps. She lives in Redding, California.
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