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The year our son died, our azaleas bloomed again in October.Those are the words I heard in my head as I stared out the front window of our home the week of October 2011,and I knew at that moment that I would be writing about his death in the coming days.I didn’t know anything beyond that moment.


Our brilliant, handsome, accomplished son had died by suicide, and we were broken beyond repair—devastated, tosay the very least.That was now ten years ago. The poems in this chapbook were born out of that grief, out of necessity, out of my attemptsto survive his loss by recording my thoughts and emotions.


Since then, we have discovered how this epidemic is ravagingour land, and we have met others who are struggling to survive, as well. As a result, these pages are dedicated to thefamilies and friends who have lost loved ones to suicide and to parents who have lost children by any means.


This work’s purpose is to educate those who are still untouched by tragedy, to empathize with those still in the throes of anguish, and to encourage those who wonder if they will ever smile again.

Janice Hoffman's Azaleas in October: Surviving the Loss of a Child from Suicide is poetry in its finest form. Her well thought out, deep, and meaningful lines reflect the suffering and coping she has gone through as a mother. Ms. Hoffman's work is devastatingly beautiful and reaches out compassionately to all those that have lost someone. As a reader, you will feel impacted from the very first page. Overall, Azaleas in October: Surviving the Loss of a Child from Suicide helps those that have lost someone in showing them a kind soul that understands their grief and serves as a therapeutic way to deal with the pain. For those who haven't lost someone, Azaleas in October helps you to have a better understanding of what the families of those lost to suicide are going through in hopes of fighting this epidemic.

Abby Cowles Review

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