Just Keep Breathing


Having lost my only son over 2 years ago to suicide, I have struggled with writing a book intended to help others who are forced through this horrific experience.

Once I began to accept the loss, I felt utterly alone. I would have done anything, paid any price and gone anywhere just to escape my emotional pain and the reality of what had occurred. I was desperate to talk to someone who, by experience, truly understood. I searched for publications that other surviving parents had written that resonated with me, but I could find none. My counselors relied on textbook explanations and advice which, however well-intended, was also not helpful in my case initially.

And so, I started writing my own book so that other survivors of severely traumatic losses might discover even one ray of hope that their pain and desperation for help would ease with time. I soon realized why so few surviving parents have been able to finish books on this topic.

For those left to deal with the harsh realities that exist in the aftermath of a child who chose to leave this life, the pain of writing it all down in a publishable work is simply too great. I am doing it anyway.

My book is called, “Just Keep Breathing.” Here is the book’s Introduction.



Just Keep Breathing
Author: Jana Brock


On December 30, 2010, just before the birth of the New Year, I joined a club. It is exclusive and mysterious. Few participate. When your name is called to step forward, the light disappears from the room. Everything falls dark and silent.

Once in, you search endlessly for someone who understands the qualifiers for membership – anyone who can help you wrap your mind around how you wound up here. You beg and plead aloud, every moment, to be taken out of the club. But no one can remove you and put you back in the mainstream again. Your name was placed on a list, and it cannot be unwritten.

This is not one of those swanky places where waitresses come around with cocktails. There is no welcome mat at the entrance, no greeters at the door. The rules of this club are strict, and the consequences of breaking them are severe and painful. You have to learn quickly, because no qualified person is there to explain these rules or how to behave, what to say and what not to say. How to feel or how to escape feeling.

Though people are all around you, they are not part of your group. Your very membership now separates you from connecting with almost every person you have known or been close with in your life. They try, but they can no longer reach you.

When you join, your senses become heightened. People in this club experience a level of emotional pain that most humans cannot fathom prior to membership. There is no way around it. You are forced through it.

The door that separates the rest of the world from the club is a heavy, dark curtain – a veil that will not lift. The sun rises there, but its members do not see it as they once did. For those who search for the light it is an uphill climb, a constant battle requiring actions that defy the very nature of human emotions. It is a long and painful journey from the club’s entrance back to the light. Some never make it back.

Nonmembers are fearful to even talk about the club, or the event that led a person to membership. There is no escape. You cannot pay someone to let you out. Your membership card will never expire. You are stuck here, trying to find others.

There are no others.


Copyright 2013, Jana Brock. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

About Jana Brock

We don't see things as they are. We see things as we are.
This entry was posted in Jana's Published Writing and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Just Keep Breathing

  1. Best wishes to you in your writing. I’m so sorry for your loss.

  2. Grace Sanner says:

    I know this is painful, as a grandparent it was hard enough to lose a precious grandchild. As a mother, I can’t even imagine it. I went through some difficult feelings when writing about your brother’s accident. Like you, I could find nothing written by those who had experienced it and there was only one, a stepmother. I cried every time I tried to write, like you. I have several versions of it partly written, but could never go back to it and continue. I am in your corner and I hope you can get this work published.

    • Jana Brock says:

      I remember you tried to write Mark’s story and for these reasons, it remains unfinished. Your writing is beautiful and I hope someday you will publish his story so that orhers can benefit from your experience and realize they are not alone. As for my book, I will self publish it so I maintain its rights. I want to make sure it gets to the right audience. As authors, these topics are the most painful, but necessary in order to serve those coming into these nightmare situations behind us. Keep writing. You can do anything you set your mind to. Much love and peace. Jana

  3. zursch says:

    Good. That book needs to be written. Honestly and directly.

    You will do a lot of good in the world – for yourself and many others.


    Sent from my FondleSlab

  4. Grace Sanner says:

    I am grateful you are writing again. Keep going!

  5. hokeypete says:

    Thank you so much for reaching out to those who are hurting. How beautifully painful that must be – I can’t imagine your pain, but I appreciate your desire to touch others who are dealing with that same sort of pain.

    Suicide is near and dear to my heart. I have been a freelance writer and editor for a while. I’d like to offer my editing skills for free for your project if you need any help. Just let me know. Thanks, my friend.

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