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Why Suicide


reviewed by Kristine Morris

Questions & Answers about Suicide, Suicide Prevention and Coping with the Suicide of Someone You Know

by Eric Marcus

Why SuicideWhen Eric Marcus was just 12 years old, his father committed suicide, and he found himself left with a legacy of questions and a deeply wounded place in his heart where once his father had been.

In 1987, Marcus was working as an associate producer for ABC-TV’s Good Morning America, and having already made the decision to write about suicide to help in his own healing, he began to research the company’s files.

“I set out to write the book I wish my family could have read when I was a child, so they could have helped me get through the trauma of my father’s death,” says Marcus. “His death was devastating, the circumstances painfully perplexing and embarrassing. I was hurt, guilt-ridden, and ashamed, and I didn’t know why.”

In the stories of others whose lives had been touched by suicide he found something he had not expected: comfort. The stories told him that he was not alone (in fact, more than three-quarters of all Americans will find their lives touched by suicide at some point), and they began “filling in some of the empty spaces” in his understanding of his father’s choice to end his life.

If someone you know has committed suicide, if you are afraid that your child might do so, or if you yourself have felt as though you no longer wanted to live, the resources that Marcus provides in this lucid, comprehensive, and compassionate guidebook will make a difference in your understanding, in your ability to help, and in your own healing. This compendium of over 200 questions and answers entwined with the personal stories of people touched by suicide shines a much-needed light on why someone might take his or her life, how to recognize those who are most at risk, and how to get help and cope in the aftermath of a loved one’s suicide.

Perhaps some who read this book might be deterred from the act. At the very least, in breaking the silence that surrounds the topic Marcus offers those who have been left behind the knowledge that they are not alone, and that others before them have found a way to live, to understand, and even to heal.

Eric Marcus is the author of several books and the coauthor of the New York Times best-selling autobiography of Olympic diving champion Greg Louganis.

> Back to January / February 2011 Reviews


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