Standing on my Brother's Shoulders

Standing on my Brother's Shoulders : Making Peace with Grief and Suicide

4.2 (70 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

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'A deeply affecting memoir ... [this] courageous book tracks the nature and processes of destruction, but more than this, the crucial reconstructions that can follow.' - Alex Garland, director of Ex Machina and author of The Beach

'Insightful, moving and informative' - Jane Garvey, Woman's Hour

Tara's childhood was scarred by the debilitating mental illness of her father and by her mother's death from cancer when she was thirteen. Caught up in grief and despair, Tara and her older brother Adam developed a deep bond, but Adam struggled silently with anxiety and depression. Four years after their mother's death, he took his own life, while studying at Oxford University. Grief and insecurity threatened to engulf Tara, but eventually she found, within her brother's diaries, her reason to live. The story moves from London to Sydney as Tara rebuilds her life, firstly as a physiotherapist and then a firefighter. Through her search for understanding and a powerful dialogue with her brother, Tara finds her strength and a way to move beyond her past, to build a life of compassion, meaning and purpose.Trained in suicide prevention and using her PhD studies to investigate the impact of suicide on firefighters, the author hopes that her story will bring hope to those facing their own struggles with grief, trauma or mental ill health, and inspire people to use their greatest challenges to help them grow and lead a more meaningful, fulfilled and engaged life.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 282 pages
  • 130 x 197 x 22.86mm | 272.16g
  • Watkins Publishing
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 1786783568
  • 9781786783561
  • 811,638

Review quote

"Insightful, moving and informative" "With honesty, compassion, humour and intelligence, Tara Lal has written a deeply affecting memoir. Her courageous book tracks the nature and processes of destruction, but more than this, the crucial reconstructions that can follow." "The wonderful part of this story has been the opportunity to learn from the book and learn from the author - an extraordinary person who continues to share her love for life." 'This is, without question, the most beautifully written, sensitive, balanced account of grieving that I have ever read. This book is going to be an absolute "must read".' 'I highly recommend this book to anyone who has themselves experienced suicidal ideation or mental ill health as well as to anyone who loves someone who has experienced these.' 'What a beautifully written book. Touching and sensitive and a piece that I am sure will help in a difficult time.' 'Deeply moving and profoundly sad, at times this book somehow finds a way to give you hope and show you that good can come after tragedy.' 'Tara unflinchingly deals with difficult but universal themes: loss, need, anger - but suffusing the whole is a loving and hopeful tone.' 'Her story will stay with you and inspire you forever.' 'This is the honest and at times raw telling of the story of a strong but vulnerable firefighter, as she struggles with, and is transformed by, the legacy of grief associated with the childhood loss of loved ones. Those on a similar journey will find guidance, inspiration and reassurance in this open, heartfelt book.' 'Poignant, moving, enlightening...' 'The most beautiful and moving book I have ever read' 'I recommend this book to everyone I know.' 'You are not just reading, with interest, of someone's life; you are there asking the same questions of yourself and learning compassion along the way. An extraordinary book.' 'Tara's inspiring story takes therapy and moves it into real life. Her resilience comes from tenacity, intelligence and openness to new experiences. She persisted with study, work and relationships, usingher courage and adaptiveness to create a life worthy of her and the people she loves.' So many times it expresses fears and doubts that we all have in a succinct and yet profound manner. Tara's gift is to involve readers so completely in her journey that they, as I did, see the parallels in their own lives. I found it truly inspiring.
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About Tara Lal

Tara J Lal was born in London but now lives in Sydney, Australia. A firefighter and Mental Health First Aid Instructor, she is trained in suicide prevention and researches suicide and mental health in firefighters, as well as speaking on behalf of leading charities to raise awareness of suicide and mental illness. To find out more visit her website:
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Rating details

70 ratings
4.2 out of 5 stars
5 44% (31)
4 33% (23)
3 21% (15)
2 1% (1)
1 0% (0)
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