The Day Before I Died is a memoir of an innocent Irish Catholic boy on his journey from the quiet New England coast and the apple orchards of Pennsylvania to Vietnam and, ultimately, to the brink of suicide. Traversing minefields both at home and abroad, the author shares these intensely personal stories of overcoming the scars of war, disfigurement, emotional abuse, sexual orientation, and bullying. It is an intimate look at the many triggers that led him to consider suicide and the path of resilience and strength that kept him alive.
No one wakes up one day and says, "I think I'll commit suicide!" Rather, the pains and shames of life eventually take their toll to the point where suicide seems like a solution. The Day Before I Died chronicles the life of the author as he wrestled with the demons of self-hate, shame, and fear. He now shares his story in hopes of saving the lives of those who are shrouded in similar darkness. Reading the book to its completion is a metaphor for why suicide isn't a solution.
—Toni Cole, MSW, LCSW,
author of Negro Woman; Chocolate Love Letters: For Black Men from the Women and Children Who Love Them
Joe Whitaker is a natural storyteller and his memoir, The Day Before I Died, is a compelling read, sometimes funny, sometimes somber. You'll laugh, you'll cry, but most importantly, you'll find hope.
—Martin Roy Hill,
author of the Linus Schag, NCIS, and the Peter Brandt mystery thrillers