Seekers of Meaning 3/17/2023: Rabbi Daniel Roberts and Melinda Moore, Discussing Books on the Trauma of Suicide

On this week’s episode of the Seekers of Meaning TV Show and Podcast, Rabbi Daniel Roberts and Melinda Moore discuss post-traumatic growth, including a conversation about their book collaborations, The Suicide Funeral (or Memorial Service): Honoring their Memory, Comforting their Survivors and After the Suicide Funeral: Wisdom on the Path to Posttraumatic Growth.

To our knowledge nothing with The Suicide Funeral (or Memorial Service): Honoring Their Memory, Comforting Their Survivors’ scope and depth has ever been published. This is an aid to anyone who will be called upon to do a funeral for the nearly 43,000 suicides in America each year. This book is designed to assist clergy, chaplains, and other faith leaders as they develop sermons and homilies for a funeral service. Its mandate is to help those searching for inspiration even though they may feel confused or uncertain undertaking such a daunting assignment. Those who plan and lead a funeral service may enable family and friends to understand and participate intentionally in their grief process. Clergy can have a significant impact on how people react to the suicide as well as provide comfort and assistance to those left behind on their journey through grief. Your leadership will influence how the suicide’s bereaved are treated by others in the days, weeks, and months following the death. Because suicide does not discriminate by race, socio-economic status, or religion, a broad range of faiths and denominations are represented in this book’s sermons, services, and perspectives.

After the Suicide Funeral: Wisdom on the Path to Posttraumatic Growth references the long and painful journey of bereavement that many suicide-loss-survivors experience in the wake of losing their loved one. A new area of positive psychology offers another vehicle for understanding the consequences of this experience by investigating the possibilities for personal growth within the context of this distressing and traumatic event. There is much to be mined by exploring faith as both a facilitator of growth and an outcome of growth. The contributors to this book are all suicide bereaved and have written short essays about how faith changed and grew as they traversed their journey of bereavement and also buoyed them in their darkest time of loss. Contributors are faith leaders, mental health professionals, caring survivors, and leaders in the fields of suicidology, thanatology, and bereavement. A must-read for any survivor of suicide loss.

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About the Guests

Daniel A. Roberts (D.D., D. Div., F.T. USN)

Rabbi Roberts is rabbi emeritus of Temple Emanu El, Cleveland, Ohio, where he served for over thirty-five years. He is also a Fellow in Thanatology as certified by the Association of Death Education and Counseling and has done extensive work on bereavement and mourning.  Rabbi Roberts has produced a video on teenage suicide entitled Inside I Ache that has had national distribution. Rabbi Roberts is the author of a book on Clergy Retirement: Every Ending a New Beginning (Wipf & Stock Publishing) and is a co-editor with Melinda Moore of The Suicide Funeral (or Memorial Service): Honoring their Memory, Comforting their Survivors (Wipf & Stock Publishing) and After the Suicide Funeral: Wisdom on the Path to Posttraumatic Growth, (Wipf & Stock Publishing) and Once Upon a Kingdom: Parables of Morals, Values and Kindness, (Temple Emanu El Publishing)

Rabbi Roberts and his wife and actress, Elaine Rembrandt, are currently living at the Balfour at Riverfront Park in Denver, CO.

Dr. Melinda Moore

Melinda Moore is a Licensed Psychologist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at Eastern Kentucky University. She holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from The Catholic University of America, where she trained in the Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicidality (CAMS) and conducted research on CAMS. She regularly trains clinicians in CAMS, as well as advocates on behalf of suicide prevention in her role as chair of the Kentucky Suicide Prevention Group, Inc., a statewide suicide prevention nonprofit. She has conducted military suicide bereavement research at the University of Kentucky and suicide treatment research at the Robley Rex Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Louisville. Her interest in Posttraumatic Growth emerged from her own experience with suicide and the changes that experience created within her allowing for her current career path and personal interests and relationships.

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