[Review] Melissa: A Father's Lessons from a Daughter's Suicide by Frank Page with Lawrence Kimbrough

Title: Melissa: A Father's Lessons from a Daughter's Suicide
Author: Frank Page with Lawrence Kimbrough
Publisher: BandH Books June 1, 2013
Genre: Non-fiction, memoir, suicide, bereavement, death
Format: Paperback
Pages: 224
Rating: 5 Stars
Source: Free copy from BandH Publishing for the purpose of review. Review was first published at The Christian Manifesto.

Further links on this story. 
Christianity Today. 
Religion News Service. 
Baptist Press.  

Frank S. Page, is a former Southern Baptist Convention president, former pastor, and current president and CEO of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee. Frank Page, is also a husband and father. His eldest daughter Melissa, committed suicide in 2009.
With transparency, introspection, and compassion, Page has written a memoir of his daughter Melissa's death. He expresses she was troubled all of her life; however, he never believed she would end her life. He looks back over the traumatic period after her death, and realizes he must share from his pain and experience, in hopes of helping others going through the death of a loved one, or a person who is contemplating suicide. At the end of each chapter is “A Letter to You, if you're contemplating suicide.” This letter is personal and eye to eye, saying, I see you and I am with you. Frank Page, shares the story of Melissa's life from her beginning as a: vibrant, rambunctious, demanding, attention-seeking, child. Her need for constant attention and depression, as well as an addictive personality, defined a troubled life. Page states, “I'm not over Melissa's death. I admit that. I'll never be over it..But I can say this: I am on my way through it, and I am still in one piece. And the 'peace of God, which surpasses every thought'-I'm here to tell you it really can 'guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.'” Philippians 4:7. Holman Christian Standard Bible.

This is a painful book to read. It is a topic which most of us would rather not discuss; but, not talking about it will not make the issue go away. I'm thankful to Frank Page, for his transparency in sharing the story of Melissa, and his journey after her suicide.
There were several points in this book which led me to give a 5 star rating.
1. Frank Page, a well-known pastor and Southern Baptist Convention leader, shares his painful story, in hopes it will help others going through a similar situation, and prevent another suicide.
2. Frank Page, expressed how it feels to have a suicide stigma in a family. People who are intimately known to them, or those who've read their story, know the family as having a member who committed suicide.
3. Page reminds me that a person who commits suicide is just as “fundamentally flawed” as all of us, and in need of God's grace.
4. What to expect after a loved ones death through suicide: 
a. stages of grief, 
b. dealing with “a spiritual war,” and “steps to spiritual victory,” 
c. allowing God to work through your life during the process of grieving, depression, and mental illness, guilt, forgiveness.
4. A final message which is entwined throughout the book: through Frank Page's journey he has not abandoned Jesus Christ, instead he clings to Him. Frank Page's faith has grown and his love for Jesus Christ has grown.
Readers may see this book as primarily a book about a father's grief after his daughter's suicide; but I see more. I see a story written in love that pours off the pages and spills over into my heart.
Frank Page might have chosen not to share his story, to keep it private, and hidden away; instead, he opened up and with God's grace ministers to all of us.




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