[Skip to Navigation]
Sign In
A Piece of My Mind
November 13, 2018

Grief After Suicide

Author Affiliations
  • 1School of Medicine, Deakin University
  • 2Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Research Centre, Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • 3Intensive Care Unit, University Hospital Geelong, Barwon Health, Geelong, Victoria, Australia
JAMA. 2018;320(18):1861-1862. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.15664

Thirty years ago, I lost my brother to suicide. A talented athlete, a gifted photographer, a deeply compassionate man. A lonely act as he tried to shake off the demons of psychosis. The end of a 3-year battle with schizophrenia.

A month ago, my closest friends lost their son. Another suicide. A wonderful, charismatic, clever young man with no known mental illness. Another lonely act, in the early hours of an ordinary weekday. A family left piecing together an incomplete jigsaw of “why” through an impenetrable cloud of loss. An endlessly branching map of possible futures extinguished. Different young men with different lives, joined only by the nature of their death, and the devastation in the lives left behind.

Add or change institution
Limit 200 characters
Limit 25 characters
Conflicts of Interest Disclosure

Identify all potential conflicts of interest that might be relevant to your comment.

Conflicts of interest comprise financial interests, activities, and relationships within the past 3 years including but not limited to employment, affiliation, grants or funding, consultancies, honoraria or payment, speaker's bureaus, stock ownership or options, expert testimony, royalties, donation of medical equipment, or patents planned, pending, or issued.

Err on the side of full disclosure.

If you have no conflicts of interest, check "No potential conflicts of interest" in the box below. The information will be posted with your response.

Not all submitted comments are published. Please see our commenting policy for details.

Limit 140 characters
Limit 3600 characters or approximately 600 words