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Why did I write Shining Through From Grief to Gratitude

Grief To Gratitude

To tell the truth I never planned to write Shining Through From Grief to Gratitude. Why would I?  I never imaged my memoir would read this way. But my world was suddenly ripped apart by the death of my 17 year old son Prem to suicide. And I felt the shocking story around his death simply had to be shared. 

After a suicide attempt in an Australian hospital that had failed to recognise his needs, Prem was on life support. I sat helplessly by his bedside in the ICU unit. Three days later we were given the shocking news that he was brain dead. There was no hope of recovery.

His life support was removed and we were overwhelmed with shock and grief. I sat with him for what turned into 11 hours till his last breath. To keep myself sane and as present as I could be I asked the kind nurse for paper. I talked to Prem. I told my boy how much he was loved and how sorry I was that I couldn’t heal him. And I wrote down my feelings, somehow it helped me ground and remain present. I would pause and lovingly massage his beautiful body as it grew colder and colder. I was so good to touch him. But his life force was fading away.

You Will Make A Difference Prem

Prem had always told me he wanted to make a difference. to  help other confused teenagers like himself one day. Suddenly I found myself telling him that his life would make a difference, that he would never be forgotten, that I would tell his story. The story of so many young vulnerable people. That was 7 years ago this September, and I have now finished our story and published Shining Through From Grief to Gratitude.

It is my hope that this book will open conversations on the once taboo subject of suicide. Suicide has been long shrouded in unnecessary shame which only deepens the grief suffered by loved ones.

Eight People Die Each Day By Suicide

There is need for greater compassion, love and understanding for those with suicidal ideation and those left behind. The new statistics show that death by suicide in Australia is rising. Eight people now die of suicide every day in Australia. And there are many more people who self-harm or attempt suicide every day. This sad fact and leaves families, loved ones, spouses and indeed whole communities reeling with the grief and pain.

Reach Out For Help

If you feel suicidal, vulnerable, and in need of support I implore you to reach out for the help you need. You are loved and your life matters. There is hope, and support can be found. Here is a list of professional suicide help lines in Australia.

Crisis and Counselling Services

(Within Australia)

 Call 000 if someone is in immediate danger of hurting themselves


Phone: 13 11 14


  • Anyone experiencing a personal crisis or thinking about suicide
  • Available 24/7
  • Online counselling available at set times, see website for details

 Suicide Call Back Service

Phone: 1300 659 467


  • Anyone aged 15+ years who is suicidal, caring for someone who is suicidal, bereaved by suicide, or a health professional supporting a suicidal individual
  • Available 24/7
  • Access to 6 x 1 hour telephone counselling sessions
  • Online counselling available at set times, see website for details

Mens Line

Phone: 1300 78 99 78


  • Men, all ages
  • Available 24/7
  • Online & video counselling at set times – see website for details
  • Access to 6 x 1 hour telephone counselling sessions
  • Services also available in Arabic

 Veterans Line

Phone: 1800 011 046



Phone: 1800 184 527


  • QLife supports thousands of LGBTI Australians across the country to have a conversation about their health and wellbeing

Kids Helpline

Phone: 1800 55 1800


  • Young people aged 5–25 years
  • Available 24/7
  • Web and email counselling

SANE Australia

Phone: 1800 688 382


  • SANE Australia helps anyone affected by mental illness to lead a better life, through its campaigning, education and research
  • SANE also gives out information and advice via the SANE Helpline 9am-5pm on week days

Resources For The Bereaved

 To read more about suicide bereavement, find a service or support group near you, get practical tips to help you cope or to support a friend who is bereaved, follow these links:

Support After Suicide


  • Support After Suicide provides direct support to people bereaved by suicide and provides training and resources to education, health and welfare professionals

To find organisations in your area:


Postvention Australia


  • National association for the bereaved by suicide

4 thoughts on “Why did I write Shining Through From Grief to Gratitude”

  1. Soraya, is it true that a suicidal person will commit the act regardless of help proffered? There is that element of blame in the opening paragraph that is no doubt explored in the book…

  2. Hello Glyni, Thank you for your question it is a very important one and I work with it in the book. No it is not true but I do explore this in my book. In my book I share the story of how my son asked to be in hospital because he was afraid of not coping. He felt suicidal. Unfortunately he was not kept safe and suicided in the hospital when given a drug that exacerbated his suicidal ideation. He was not taken seriously. Another loved on was feeling suicidal but was out of her mind with grief. She was kept safe and to this day is grateful. Many people go through dark times that they recover completely from if they are kept safe and given the right environment to heal. There are many people I have spoken to who are grateful for not dying by suicide and have gone on to lead productive lives.
    On the other hand ….Often those left behind after losing someone to suicide do suffer deep feelings of guilt and blame through their grieving process. I hope this helps but read the book as it does explore all of this……

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