Suicide would appear to be the last taboo. Even incest is now discussed freely in popular media, but the suicide of a loved one is still an act most people are unable to talk aboutor even admit to their closest family or friends. This is just one of the many painful and paralyzing truths author Carla Fine discovered when her husband, a successful young physician, took his own life in December 1989. And being unable to speak openly and honestly about the cause of her pain made it all the more difficult for her to survive.
With No Time to Say Goodbye, she brings suicide survival from the darkness into light, speaking frankly about the overwhelming feelings of confusion, guilt, shame, anger, and loneliness that are shared by all survivors. Fine draws on her own experience and on conversations with many other survivorsas well as on the knowledge of counselors and mental health professionals. She offers a strong helping hand and invaluable guidance to the vast numbers of family and friends who are left behind by the more than thirty thousand people who commit suicide each year, struggling to make sense of an act that seems to them senseless, and to pick up the pieces of their own shattered lives. And, perhaps most important, for the first time in any book, she allows survivors to see that they are not alone in their feelings of grief and despair.
In 1989, the author's husband of 21 years, 44-year-old Harry, a New York City physician who was depressed over the recent deaths of his parents, killed himself with a lethal dose of an anesthetic. Stunned by her loss, Fine (Married to Medicine: An Intimate Portrait of Doctors' Wives) searched in vain for books on how to deal with the suicide of a loved one. In her comprehensive and well-written manual for "suicide survivors," such as herself, she offers advice for those recovering from the suicide of a marital partner, relative or close friend. Drawing on research, interviews with survivors and her own experience, Fine provides insights into living beyond this tragedy including dealing with feelings of guilt and anger, the stigma of suicide and financial and legal problems, and she tells where to get help. She stresses that joining a peer support group is an important coping tool. Although some of the descriptions of suicides make for harrowing reading, the book is a valuable contribution to an overlooked subject. (Jan.)