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Books, Journals, New Media
July 13, 2005


Author Affiliations

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.

JAMA. 2005;294(2):253. doi:10.1001/jama.294.2.253-a

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.