by Linda Collins
“I have had nothing bad happen to me except my own doing. I have let this cowardice envelop me, and I can’t shake it off. I will commit the worst thing you can ever do to someone who loves you: killing yourself. The scary thing is, I’m okay with that.” —Victoria McLeod, Singapore, March 30, 2014
Loss Adjustment is a mother’s recount of her 17-year-old daughter’s suicide.
In the wake of Victoria McLeod’s passing, she left behind a remarkable journal in her laptop of the final four months of her life. Linda Collins, her mother, has woven these into her memoir, which is at once cohesive, yet fragmented, reflecting a survivor's state of mind after devastating loss.
Loss Adjustment involves the endless whys, the journey of Linda Collins and her husband in honouring Victoria, and the impossible question of what drove their daughter to this irretrievable act. A stunningly intimate portrait of loss and grief, Loss Adjustment is a breaking of silence—a book whose face society cannot turn away from.
Read an excerpt →
About the Author
Linda Collins is a copyeditor on the political desk of The Straits Times. She may be familiar to readers, having used to write a monthly contribution to The Expat Files in the Sunday Times from 2009–2012. She has an MA in Creative Writing at the International Institute of Modern Letters (IIML) at Victoria University, New Zealand and her non-fiction and poetry have appeared in Turbine, Swamp Living, The Fib Review, The Cordite Poetry Review and The Freerange Journal. She was shortlisted for the Hachette Australia Trans-Tasman mentorship, longlisted for a NZ flash fiction award and received an Honourable Mention in a Glimmer Train contest. Loss Adjustment was written three years after her daughter had died, and is a work of creative non-fiction.
Early Mentions in Media
* An extract from Victoria's journal was published in Singapore's Sunday Times online version and attracted over 50,000 views in one week.
* Vic’s journals as anchoring lede in New Yorker article, “The Two Faces of Suicide” (2019), by Barrett Swanson.
* Living for my girl, by Linda Collins, first published on May 10, 2015 in The New Paper.
* Victoria, her death and her journal-writing are the subject of a chapter in a book called Beautiful Failures by Lucy Clark, an editor at Guardian Australia, about teens and exam stress. (2016)
* A whole chapter on Victoria is in the book A Very Human Ending: The Truth About Suicide (2018), also known as Suicidal: Why We Kill Ourselves, by Dr Jesse Bering, author of the international best-selling The Belief Instinct (2012).
It's ok to need help and to talk to someone about your feelings
Part of Linda's journey of loss and questioning can be emotionally taxing. We recognise that each person's feelings and difficulties are different, and it will be best to observe your feelings as you read it. If you find yourself feeling you're not in the right headspace, do put the book down and talk to someone about your feelings.
If you are gifting this book, do talk to the reader about the book's content, and let them know it is ok to stop reading if they feel uncomfortable, and to talk to you or someone else. Together with Linda, we hope the book can encourage conversation instead of people closing off and dealing with emotions alone.
If you are concerned about your mental health or that of someone you know, reach out to Samaritans of Singapore: 1800-221-4444
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ISBN: 978-981-14-1477-0 (paperback) | 978-981-14-2327-7 (e-book)
Dimension: 130mm x 200mm