Books, Journals, New Media Section Editor: Harriet
S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA; Journal
Review Editor: Brenda L. Seago, MLS, MA, Medical College of Virginia Campus,
Virginia Commonwealth University.
The loss of a loved one, especially of an immediate family member, is
one of the most difficult experiences of a person’s life. However, all
too often, the grief of those who have lost a sibling is minimized or even
ignored by others, including health professionals. I have lost two brothers—one
to suicide, one to a drunk driver—and can acknowledge that in many ways
I was unable to fully express or receive validation of my grief. I found The Empty Room to be a cathartic and uplifting confirmation
of my own personal experience and would highly recommend it to anyone who
has endured a similar tragedy. Elizabeth DeVita-Raeburn’s elegant exploration
of the often overlooked issue of sibling grief draws on the death of her brother
at age 17 years following a consuming 8-year struggle with aplastic anemia.
She also uses as a basis for her ideas interviews with dozens of sibling survivors.
Morton MJ. Bereavement. JAMA. 2005;294(2):253. doi:10.1001/jama.294.2.253-a