Thank you to Litsa over at What's Your Grief? for investing an extra quarter of an hour in her car in a Target parking lot a few weeks ago so she could finish listening to David Sedaris on This American Life, reading his New Yorker essay about his sister's suicide last May. Litsa passed the fruits of her labors along in a blog post that summarizes the essay's helpfulness regarding grief (and that also serves as an introduction to the thoughtful writing she and fellow blogger Eleanor routinely offer on What's Your Grief?).
As for Sedaris's essay, it is brilliant, understated in a way that keeps the depth of the tragedy at arm's length and creates resonant space for a couple of breathtaking moments like this:
"I don't know that it had anything to do with us," my father said. But how could it have not? Doesn't the blood of every suicide splash back on our faces?The losses Litsa and Eleanor mention on What's Your Grief? in reference to their personal interests in bereavement do not involve suicide, and the way Sedaris's story is treated on their blog highlights, for me, how much all bereaved people have in common. I am dedicated to providing a special "space" for suicide grief and for the suicide bereaved, but I also always remember that, in so many ways, grief is grief.