Monday, November 15, 2010

For One More Day by Mitch Albom

For One More Day is a story about a man named Chick Benneto, a washed up former professional baseball player who receives the opportunity to meet his mother who has been deceased for 8 years. He gets this opportunity because at one point in the novel, he attempts suicide. As he is driving home from a bar in a drunken stupor, he analyzes his life’s poor choices from his divorce to missing his only daughter’s wedding. He contemplates the idea of suicide and accidentally speeds off an exit ramp, flies into a drainage ditch and loses consciousness. At this the point in the novel where he meets his dead mother, thinking he has passed away also because he is seeing her again. Chick is distraught by the fact that he is having casual conversation with his mother but is even more scared when he realizes he has died from the crash. Chick is eager to see his mother and talk to her because he was supposed to be with her the night she died, but did not go to the hospital to visit her because he was at drinking at a bar. At the end of the story, we find out that Chick does not die, and was saved by his daughter, who found him on the side of the road and called for emergency assistance.
This novel revolves around the themes of redeeming one’s past sins and guiltiness. Chick feels guilt that he was never able to rekindle the relationship he once had with his daughter and for his failed marriage. This story of family, love, forgiveness and mistakes comes off to the reader as over dramatic and over emotional through Albom’s intricate writing style.

Discussion Questions:

-How would you feel if you lost a family member and never fully had the chance to say goodbye?

-Why do you think suicide is such a recurring outcome for people struggling with depression? What are some possible solutions to prevent the spread of this social dilemma?

25 comments:

KatherineS13-14 said...

1) If I lost a family member and never had the chance to say good-bye, I think that I would never fully feel like I had closure. Even if my final goodbye was at the funeral, I would still have that feeling of closure and I would be able to move on. Not having that closure, I would not be able to more on from that death and I would always think about not having said goodbye.
2) I think suicide is the outcome for people with depression because people that are depressed do not see and think clearly. They see themselves as completely alone and misunderstood, and they think the only way to escape their loneliness is to end their life. The best way to solve this problem is to show depressed people that they are not alone and that there are people that love them. Not only love them, but want to help them with their problems. This will allow people that are depressed to release their bottled up emotions and move on.

Kristen R. 11-12 said...

To answer the first question, if I lost a family member and never had the chance to say goodbye, I would be very upset with myself even if there was no way of avoiding not being able to say goodbye. I would be extremely distraught, and I would feel as if I had failed them because I would have wanted to tell them how much they meant to me before they passed away. This is why I feel it's very important to make sure to tell people how much you appreciate them on a regular basis because you never know when it's going to be too late to do so. To answer the second question, I think that suicide is becoming so prevalent for people struggling with depression because people feel that it is the only solution. These people do not realize, however, that it is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. A solution for trying to prevent the spread of this social dilemma would be to talk to the person if you suspect that he or she is abnormally depressed for a long period of time. It helps when people know that they have at least one person to go to when times are rough.

Laura B. 13-14 said...

Actually, this past summer my great-grandfather died and I never had the chance to fully say goodbye to him. I have come to terms with this, but it was very upsetting for the first two months because I feel like being able to say goodbye helps someone heal after going through the death of a loved one. I believe suicide is a recurring outcome because people who are depressed believe they have no one to turn to so they think their only option out is to commit suicide.

Kelsey M. 11/12 said...

1) We so often take life for granted and don't appreciate the good things that we have in our lives every day. This is because we usually just focus on the negative aspects of our lives. But, everything can change in the blink of an eye. Therefore, we should take every oppurtunity that we have to tell the people we care about how much we love them. Life is too short to hold grudges and fight with each other.

A couple years ago, I almost lost my dad in a serious car accident and a year later my mom had a heart attack. If they would have died like that, I would have never really had the closure i needed. A part of me would never be whole again. Events like this happen to people every day though, and sometimes we are not given the chance to say goodbye. That is why we have to show our love every day for the people we care about.

Kelsey M. 13-14 said...

I have lost a family member without saying goodbye but no matter how hard it is to go through you have to remember the goods times you had with them. A lot of the time you will never have a chance to say goodbye to someone right before the pass away. That is why it is important to always tell people how much you appreciate and love them and live your own life to the fullest because you never know when if might be your lasy day.

Natalie S Mods 5-6 said...

1) I have lost a family member and never had the chance to completely say goodbye to them. It is very upsetting and if I think about it too much it still bothers me. I do not think a final goodbye should determine that much with a family memeber's feelings and love for you. Although, sometimes being able to say goodbye offers a lot of closure and peace of mind.
2)I think people view suicide as an option because they feel trapped and have no where else to go. When people have these feelings, they do not want to share them with other seemingly happy people so they bottle themselves up emotionally which only makes matters worse. In order for these tragedies to be prevented, family and friends of depressed people must keep an eye on their loved ones and make them seek professional help if they will not seek it themselves.

Mike B 13-14 said...

Losing a family member without saying goodbye is hard. I have lost a family member under such circimstances and it is upsetting and still bothers me today. I try to remember the last time i talked with this person and what we talked about but my memory has faded. People who lose famiy members this way may feel they never have closure and feel they would if they had a final goodbye. I believe that clousre comes from peace of mind and remembrence. People should remember the good times with the person have the strength to move on.

Sydney C.13-14 said...

Losing a family member is devastating, and not being able to say goodbye makes it hard to find closure. In cases when death isn't expected it is easier to forgive yourself for not saying goodbye. In Chick's case, he knew his mother was suffering. This would make the grieving process much more difficult.

I feel that suicide is a common result of people in serious stages of depression because of the lack of effort of that person to reach out for help.To prevent the spread of the tragedy of suicide, people must seek help when they begin feeling depressed, because stages of depression usually get worse rather than better. People should also look to help others in their lives who may be struggling with depression and seek to forgive their loved ones, as Chick's daughter must do when Chick is not in attendance at her wedding.

Alexander C. [13-14] said...

Chick's situation in For One More Day revolves around his binges on alcohol.
"Impulsivity and aggression are strongly implicated in suicidal behaviour. Constructs related to aggression and impulsivity confer additional risk for suicidal behaviour in people with alcohol dependence."
This information was quoted from a credible health journal.
Because of Chick's addiction to alcohol, does it make his suicide different than say an adolescent who was bullied?

Kaitlyn S. 13-14 said...

1. I've lost only one family member that I have known of and I couldn't have possibly been around to say goodbye because he was in a home. If a close family member died and I had the opportunity to be there when they pass and I didn't take that opportunity, I would feel terrible. I would wonder what I thought was so important at the time where I couldn't go to them and say goodbye. I would feel very guilty and would probably regret it for the rest of my life.
2. I think suicide is a reoccurring outcome for people suffering from depression because it changes the way you think. When you are depressed it feels like nothing will ever change for you. Everything has no point and there's nothing to live for. There's a feeling of uselessness and low esteem. I had a friend that attempted and ended up in the hospital. After she lived through that, I tried to be there for her. Not too long ago, she sounded like she was going to do it again. I wasn't sure how serious it was but I got a hold of her and talked to her and she didn't do whatever she was planning on doing. Suicide is serious because people who attempt or commit it aren't in their normal state of mind. They are unable to be the person that they really are. I think that talking to people and trying to get them help and showing that you and others care can do a deal in helping them.

I don't think the alcohol made any difference in the suicide. He sounds as if he was already depressed and alcohol is a depressant. If anything, the alcohol probably enhanced these feelings of low self worth and brought him into a bigger depression. You could argue that it is different in the sense that victims of bullies are tortured constantly and he was not necessarily tortured in the same way.

Kara K. 5/6 said...

I would feel really bad if one of my family members passed away and I never had a chance to tell them goodbye and that I love them for the last time. I would have an empty feeling in my stomache for such a long time. It is bad enough losing a family member, but not seeing them in their last hours is even worse. You want to have that one last moment with them, before they are gone forever.
I think suicide is such a recurring outcome for people struggling with depression becuase people who are depressed seem to not think quit straight and do what ever comes to their mind. They feel the only way to get out of their misery is to completely get rid of themselves. I think that people in the world should show respet and care for everyone that they associate with. If everyone did that, then many more people would not be in depression.

Matt P. 13-14 said...

I would feel bad at first if I did not get the chance to say goodbye, but I'd need to realize that it wouldn't be possible to see my family members before they passed away because they live so far away. If it was a closer family member, I would be more upset and it would take more time to move on.
I think people with depression see suicide as their only way out, because they feel no one can help them with their problems. To stop this from happening, people need to be aware of the feelings of their friends and family so that they may help them through the hard times in their lives.

Deanna K 5-6 said...

I would feel very upset if i lost a family member and never fully had the chance to say goodbye. I would feel as if my time with them was not complete and that i still had things to say to that person.

I believe that suicide is such a reoccurring outcome for people struggling with depression because they feel it is the only way out. Individuals suffering from a mental illness cannot decipher between fantasy and reality and continuously intertwine the two. Depression, arguably the most severe mental illness, can result in suicide because the person believes their pain and suffering would cease to exist, because the think it will never get better. I believe that if more help was available to these individuals, they would be able to survive and overcome this illness.

Leah A 5-6 said...

If I lost a family member without being able to say goodbye, I would feel bad. I would feel really upset about the fact that I was unable to say goodbye and how I felt about them before they left. For me, family is one of the most important things in my life, so without saying goodbye I would feel that there was no closure.
I feel suicide is a result of depression because people feel that they don't have a purpose in life. They always feel that there is no reason for them to be here so they turn to suicide. To prevent suicide, people should always be able to talk to a friend and get help.

Rachael B MOds 5-6 said...

I HAVE lost a family member and never really had the chance to say my goodbyes. I know that it leaves a sense of frayed ends and an unfinished part of your life. People like closure because you are never left wondering where the tattered ends of your heart belong. Although it can be very unsettling, as long as you know that you have expressed your love for the person while they were alive, I think I could live with the comfort that they knew I cared for them and are now in a better place. I think suicide is becoming the reocurring outcome because out generations are becoming more and more detatched from the relationships that surround them as they plunge into the world of technological advancements and other distractions. People pay more attention to their Blackberry than they do the person crying next to them. I think the only real solution is for people to realzie their estranged detatchment from the love and intimate relationships with family, friends, and others, and make an attempt to pull themselves back together with those that they love most.

Allie H 11-12 said...

Regarding question # 2, I think suicide is a recurring outcome for people struggling with depression because they feel like there is no other solution to fix their depression. They feel like there is no way out, and the only way to become happy and normal again is to end their life. They are not strong enough to overcome depression and they feel too weak to ask someone for help. There have been many suicide prevention groups to help end this social dilemma, but I believe that no matter how many groups exsist, people will still end their lives because they are not strong enough to reach out to someone for help.

Nick E. 13-14 said...

1) I personally have lost someone without ever saying goodbye. When I was 2, my father committed suicide. For the record, please dont' feel sorry for it's a very complex story, but in the end, he did. I never got to say goodbye (well I mean I was two and couldn't LITERALLY say goodbye haha) but I haven't ever felt like I didn't get closure. I'm not sure I really want closure. I have a Step-Father who I feel is my biological father. It's strange to say, but things have been much easier without him.

2) Being a 'suicide-survivor' (hmmmmmm, catchy! haha), I believe suicide is often a recurring outcome for people with depression because it truly does solves ALL of your problems. However, people don't realize that it creates so many more problems for the people you leave behind. When you die, everyone around becomes depressed, which eventually leads to more suicides. I don't think there is really any more we can do to prevent suicide, other than to give support when needed/wanted and making people feel loved. Many people who commit suicide regret their decision to pull the trigger or the kick the chair from beneath their feet right before it's too late. If someone TRULY wants to kill themselves, they won't let anything stop them. Free will can conquer all... unfortunately.

Eric Y 13-14 said...

for question one, if I missed out on the last oppurtunity to talk to a close family member, it would be very tough to deal with. For Chick, it must be almost impossible to deal with because of his already apparent depression.

for two, I believe people think suicide is a way out of the cahllenges of life. For Christians even, it seems that God offers eternal life upon physical death, with would just ease the thought of one's own suicide.

Kenneth C.M. 13-14 said...

1) My feelings on missing a chance to say goodbye to a family member are varied. It all depends on how close I was to the member, my relationship with them, and how I missed my chance. For example if I missed my chance to say good bye to my mom because I was at a bar, I would feel horrible and would also think about where my priorities are at. If I lost one of my great uncles I don't really know, I don't think I would feel bad not saying goodbye.

2) The desire to instantly get rid of severe depression can sometimes make horrible choices, such as suicide, seem very tempting. People want instant gratification, and they feel that suicide will relieve them of their problems. Suicide is obviously the most ridiculous way to rid yourself of problems though. You get one chance to live, that's it. Making people fully realize and understand this concept, I believe, can help solve this solution. If you want to change your life, you can. You just have to be committed to changing it and have the desire to take the route to solving your problems the correct way, rather than the easy way.

James F (11-12) said...

1. i have lost family without saying goodbye and it is the most horrid feeling in the world. your mind begins to think of all the things you should have said. its depressing and i hope no one ever has to deal with that again.
2. suicide will always be an issue. i dont think the world can do much more unless we are able to fully understand the human mind. but i believe this will never happen granted we only use 8-10% of our brain's potential. its horrible but its life. suicide can harm but people can also learn from it and become stronger...and plus were all born again right miss frank?

Jacob B 11-12 said...

I would feel terrible if i lost a family member without a final goodbye. However, i would eventually realize that I cannot go back to change it so I must move on. If I were not able to move on I believe I would put myself into a depressed state and begin to blame myself for their death.

Greg P. 13-14 said...

-How would you feel if you lost a family member and never fully had the chance to say goodbye
Losing a loved one or pretty much anyone you care about without being able to say goodbye is a tragedy. When this happens you can never go back and apologize or tell them how much you really care. This leaves you with a feeling of guilt

Alexander C. [13-14] said...

These comments are inspiring and show the basic belief that everyone today needs to appreciate everyday they spend here on earth. A simple "Hello" or "Thank you" can go a long way for anyone you encounter in your daily life.

Dana G. 13-14 said...

-How would you feel if you lost a family member and never fully had the chance to say goodbye?

i would be upset. It would bother me that I did not have a chance to say goodbye. I would also feel guilty I did not spend more time with that person.

Mrs. Sherwood said...

Thread graded, closed