Book chronicles mother's struggle with suicide of son

Denise Dador Image
Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Book chronicles mother's struggle with suicide of son
A Southern California mother who lost her son to suicide has chronicled her struggle with the loss in the hopes of helping others.

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (KABC) -- In the U.S., suicide rates are on the rise.

It's the 10th leading cause of death.

A local mom, struggling to deal with her son's death, wrote a book about her search for answers.

She hopes her pledge to write her son's name - on every beach - will help others.

A sand-sketched tribute that salt water will soon wash away.

But for Susan Auerbach the exercise brings a lasting calm as she reflects on her son Noah.

"Just trying to connect with his memory," she said.

In life, Noah Langholz loved the beach and surfing.

He loved his family.

So when the outwardly confident college junior took his life by hanging, in his parents' garage two days after running the Los Angeles Marathon in 2013, the unthinkable traumatic loss hit his mother like a tidal wave.

"You're not only full of grief, you know, the worst nightmare a parent could ever have, you're full of shock and your body is reacting to the shock," said Auerbach.

She chronicled her journey through the recovery process in a book, "I'll Write Your Name on Every Beach."

Auerbach said, "It's really for my fellow suicide loss survivors and it's for people around them who want to understand their experience."

Experts said after losing someone to suicide, recovery is all about taking baby steps, just putting one foot in front of the other.

Auerbach compared dealing with grief to riding an ocean wave.

"Ride your grief like a wave. Sometimes it's going to surge. Sometimes, it's going to ebb back into the ocean," she said. "Let it carry you."

At book signings, many in the audience connect with her story.

Psychologist Nina Gutin said, "What Susan's book does is give voice to the myriad of complex feelings that come about at different stages of grief."

Auerbach writes honestly about Noah's life and his death so readers might be able to see the different tell-tale signs. But most importantly her message is one of hope.

"You need to honor your grief and give it its time and give its expression," she said.

Her writings in the sand are a timeless testament of love.