Unfinished Conversation Book Cover

From Unfinished Conversation: Healing From Suicide and Loss—A Guided Journey (2013) by Robert LeSoine with Marilynne Chöphel, MFT. Reprinted with permission of Parallax Press, Berkeley, California. www.parallax.org

Telling Others
The First Day
Beginning the Conversation

• When you found out that your loved one had died, who were the first people you contacted? What were their reactions? What were your
reactions to their reactions?

• What happened during those first twenty-four hours? Create a chronology of events noting your changing thoughts, physical sensations, and feelings as you went through that first day. What did you and others do—or not do?

• Begin your first “conversation” with your loved one. The easiest way to do this is to put it in the form of a letter, beginning with his or her
name. Then just write. What did you want to say to him immediately after you found out he was gone? What do you want to say right now?


Dear Larry,

I’m writing to you because it is the only way I can speak to you anymore. It is only twenty-four hours since I learned that you took your own life and I can’t get used to you not being around. I also can’t really accept that you left me the way you did . . .

Returning to the present moment . . .

As you sit comfortably, feel where your body makes contact with the chair or the floor beneath you. When you breathe in, relax your body and lengthen your spine. When you breathe out, let your body be held by the support beneath you.

I am grounded and supported in the present.

For more information on Unfinished Conversation click here.

About the Authors:

Robert Emile Lesoine, MA Ed., is an educator, musician, and writer living in Santa Monica, California, where he’s been teaching music to students of all ages for 35 years. His own experience of healing his grief through writing is the basis of this book and his support of other survivors. Robert’s website, unfinishedconversation.com, offers many resources for those healing from suicide and loss.

Marilynne Chöphel, MFT, has been a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist for 25 years, specializing in the treatment of acute and relational trauma. A yoga and meditation teacher for many years, Chöphel’s work with survivors incorporates mindfulness and body-mind awareness. She  lives in San Rafael, California.

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