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August 25 , 2010

Take the Dimness of My Soul Away

Healing After a Loved One's Suicide


In 1994 William Ritter's adult son committed suicide, sending Ritter and his family on a journey no family wants to take. Part of Ritter's own process of healing the loss of his son was to preach about it occasionally from the pulpit. This book is a collection of the sermons he preached, the first one just three weeks after his son's death, and the final one nine years later. Through them, we get a glimpse of a father and a family struggling honestly with their pain and gradually—over the years—coming to grips with their loss. Take the Dimness of My Soul Away will be a welcome companion to anyone who has lost a loved one to suicide, as well as to pastors and counselors who work with those who are grieving. Ritter offers no easy solutions, no rosy pictures, and no silver linings, but speaks honestly instead about the difficult emotions and confusion of this kind of loss, and ultimately, about a sense of hopefulness for the survivors of suicide. William Ritter is the senior pastor of a large United Methodist church in Birmingham, Michigan. Since the suicide of his son he has counseled many others, and spoken to groups of people who have all survived this kind of loss.

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