Visitors, Views, and Downloads in 2022

What visitors to were looking at in 2022:

Most Popular Blog Posts:

It is not obvious why some blog posts draw more attention than others. It may be that the material presented touches on a topic that has broad appeal, or it may be the book it references has received some recent exposure in the media.

The blog post To Learn To Read Is To Light A Fire was unstoppable, racking up views throughout the year.

To Learn To Read Is To Light A Fire (January 14, 2020)


Australia has been experiencing a severe drought, fuel loads are high and there have been days of extreme temperature. These conditions pose a serious threat and Fire Services have been quick to issue acute fire danger warnings.

Preparing for the fire season requires months of planning. Given that there are always fires, the focus is on what is needed to manage the inevitable. This year, some of the larger fires have been described as ‘unpredictable’ and ‘unstoppable.’

Reading is like that too. It is unpredictable and unstoppable.

When we turn the pages of a book, we don’t know what awaits. There are always surprises in the story line, unexpected diversions, transporting us to places we would never have chosen.

Link: To Learn To Read Is To Light A Fire

A Man Called Ove (October 24, 2019)

The recent release of the film A Man Called Otto, starring Tom Hanks has given a significant boost to views of this blog post.


A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman is a fictional account of the life of Ove, an unassuming 59-year-old man who craves order and predictability. Past losses have shaken his equilibrium, making him averse to change. He needs routine. Knowing what to expect affords him a measure of strength. stability and security…

Ove’s new neighbours, Patrick and Pavaneh, and their two young children are pivotal in providing Ove a reason to live. Their example helps to answer the difficult question:

How do you relate to someone who doesn’t want to live anymore?

Link: A Man Called Ove

The Beekeeper of Aleppo (September 16, 2019)


The war destroyed everything. The loss to Nuri and Afra was incalculable. Nuri’s beehives were vandalised and destroyed by fire; their neighbourhood was decimated, buildings torn apart, friends and family killed or forced to flee; their home was bombed leaving a huge crater in the back room; their precious son, Sami, died in the blast, the trauma of which robbed Afra of her sight.

Life is about survival. Whenever we are confronted with the unthinkable or the unspeakable, we are left grief stricken, broken and traumatised. When engulfed by tragedy our only consideration must be – ‘What must I do to survive?’

Link: The Beekeeper of Aleppo

Waiting For Godot (April 8, 2016)


It has been suggested that Waiting for Godot’ is primarily about hope. The play revolves around two tramps, Vladimir and Estragon, and their daily struggle to fill in the idle hours while they await a word, an answer, a reason to live. They resort to a series of mundane activities like the matter of Estragon’s boot, trivial conversations about vegetables and lively exchanges about more serious matters including suicide.

Link: Waiting For Godot

The Librarian of Auschwitz (August 23, 2019)


When the Nazis occupied Czechoslovakia in 1939, they started to persecute Jews. In 1942, when Dita was thirteen years old, she and her parents were deported to Ghetto Theresienstadt in the fortress town of Terizin, and later to Auschwitz, where Dita’s father died of starvation.

Dita survived almost three years of hunger, degradation, and humiliation, not to mention the loss of her parents, grandparents, uncles, cousins, and friends.

The question Dita confronted every day was:

“How do you live when you’re surrounded by death?”

Link: The Librarian of Auschwitz

To Kill A Mockingbird (August 13, 2019)


To Kill a Mockingbird is primarily about a young, intelligent though unconventional girl, Jean Louise (“Scout”) Finch, and the racial tensions that existed in the fictional town of Maycomb, Alabama during the 1930’s.

I always imagined ‘To Kill a Mockingbird‘ to be a dark and harrowing tale, delving into the unrelenting suffering and hardship of African Americans. The book does tackle racism – the intergenerational prejudice and hatred toward African Americans – but it does so with honesty, humour and humanity. To Kill a Mockingbird is a powerful portrayal of what it means to stand on the side of truth.

Link: To Kill A Mockingbird

Most Popular Downloads:

It was always my hope that might provide a valuable resource to people who had an interest in subjects like grief, loss, suicide, suicide prevention, mental health, wholeness, hope, survival, faith, spirituality, books, reading, writing, walking, gardening… just some of my personal interests.

You are free to download anything from my website. My only requirement is that you acknowledge the source.

A Spirit of Suicide (June 2015)

A Christian world view recognises conflict at a personal as well as global level. The forces of darkness strive to negate the purposes of God. It is about capturing the hearts and minds of those destined to be children of God. Sadly, even though God desires that none perish, many will choose darkness over light as it provides a cover for their evil designs.

Link: Resources – Booklets, Articles, Presentations

A Spirit of Suicide

Sing Unburied Sing – Jesmyn Ward

‘Growing up out here in the country taught me things. Taught me that after the first fat flush of life, time eats away at things: it rusts machinery, it matures animals to become hairless and featherless, and it withers plants… But since Mama got sick, I learned pain can do that, too. Can eat a person until there is nothing but bone and skin and a thin layer of blood left. How it can eat your insides and swell you in wrong ways.’  Jesmyn Ward

Link: Resources > My Book Notes

Sing Unburied Sing – Jesmyn Ward

Men We Reaped – Jesmyn Ward

It was 2003. We had gone crazy. We had lost three friends by then, and we were so green we couldn’t reconcile our youth with the fact that we were dying, so we drank and smoked and did other things, because these things allowed us the illusion that our youth might save us, that there was someone somewhere who would have mercy on us.Jesmyn Ward

Link: Resources > My Book Notes

Men We Reaped – Jesmyn Ward

The Role of the Church in Suicide Prevention (April 2015)

‘Is suicide prevention something the Christian Church should concern itself with? Suicide is a difficult subject for many people whether Christian or non-Christian. It is something they would prefer not to have to think about. It is disturbing. It is confronting. It is unsettling. There is a prevailing attitude in society that if you draw too much attention to suicide the incidence will increase. Consequently, there is little public debate, even though there are far more deaths to suicide than road fatalities.’

Link: Resources > Booklets, Articles, Presentations

The Role of the Church in Suicide Prevention

First You Write A Sentence – Joe Moran

Sentences are our writing commons, the shared ground where every writer walks.

By learning to make sentences, we learn not just about writing but about everything. The sentence is where we make the briefest of senses out of this mad, beautiful, befuddling mess: life.‘  Joe Moran

Link: Resources > My Book Notes

First You Write A Sentence – Joe Moran

The Tattooist of Auschwitz – Heather Morris

Lale looks at the number: 32407

The tattooing has taken only seconds, but Lale’s shock makes time stand still. He grasps his arm, staring at the number. How can someone do this to another human being? He wonders if for the rest of his life, be it short or long, he will be defined by this moment, this irregular number: 32407′ Heather Morris

Link: Resources > My Book Notes

The Tattooist of Auschwitz – Heather Morris

Most people who visit view one item of interest. You might call them ‘one click viewers.’ Occasionally, a visitor will click twice. Very few people work through the Menu at the top of the Home Page to see what the site has to offer.

If you are interested, I have a short assignment for you to tackle. Our subject is grief, an experience common to all. We know what grief feels like, but have we ever taken the time to do some research, expand our understanding, thus providing added meaning to what we are living through? There are seven parts to this exercise.

1. Tags –

Tags are found on the Home Page in the right column.

Click on Grief > Seven Genuine Causes of Grief

Complete the following sentence:

Our grief is shaped by ………………………………………

2. Categories –

Categories are found on the Home Page in the right column below Tags.

Click on Grief > Finding Meaning in Loss

David Kessler is an author and grief counsellor.

What are the four quotes of David Kessler highlighted in this blog post?





3. Resources –

Resources are found in the Main Menu on the Home Page.

Click on Resources > Booklets, Articles, Presentations > PowerPoint Presentation – Understanding Suicide: A Complicated Grief.

Slide four: Complete the quote:

‘Your grief is like your fingerprint, ……………………………….’ (Irving & Thompson)

4. Resources –

Resources are found in the Main Menu on the Home Page.

Click on Resources > My Book Notes > Notes on Grief – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Complete the quote:

‘Grief is a cruel kind of education, …………………………………………………………… ‘

5. Memorials –

Memorials are found in the Main Menu on the Home Page.

Click on Memorials > Adam Joel Rickard > Reflections > Survival

Complete the paragraph:

‘Grief is central to the new reality. …………………………………………………………… ‘

6. Reading List –

Reading List is found in the Main Menu on the Home Page.

Click on Reading List > About Grief

Choose three titles from the books listed under About Grief.

(Check out your local library to see if they have a copy.)


Quotes are found in the Main Menu on the Home Page.

Click on Quotes > About Grief > The Movie – 23 Insights To Help You Grieve Well

The Movie – 23 Insights To Help You Grieve Well

Enjoy the movie.

Author: Bruce Rickard

Reflections on Suicide and Staying Alive: My son's suicide changed everything. I felt an obligation to understand why anyone would want to end their life. My regular blog posts explore the causes and prevalence of suicide and what is needed to sustain a healthy mind and a hope-filled future.

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