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Grieving after a loved one’s suicide: An offer of hope

December 9, 2017

After a suicide, Amy Biancolli tells us, “Grief is a monster.” Having lived through the suicide of a loved one, twice, she knows. A writer, she is able to describe in plain terms  the experience of losing first a sister, and then fifteen years later, her husband, to suicide.



Further, she is able to describe her journey to understand and accept the new facts of her life – among them that she will not get to grow old with either of these loved ones.


In the most practical, feet-on-the-ground way, she describes too how she has survived, and how she helps her three children to survive. She describes the guilt that the experience of losing someone to suicide brings with it – unearned but present nonetheless. And she shares her answer to the guilt. She describes also her first ironic burst of hope, and offers, of all things, a little humor.


She doesn’t flinch; she doesn’t offer platitudes or spiritual prescriptions. She offers her hard-won conclusions about what keeps her afloat (spoiler alert: jazz violin helps) in the hope that others can find a foothold as she has. It is available here, day or night. It is 18 minutes long, and I find it unforgettable.


Her TED-xAlbany talk Surviving a Loved One’s Suicide is here

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© 2017 by Carolyn B. Healy. All rights reserved.