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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.

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