When my sister-in-law killed herself two-and-a-half years ago, I felt desperately alone.  The shock waves of her death blew me back in time to my father’s suicide four decades prior and knocked me off my feet.  I was a mess and so desperate not to be alone with my emotions that despite my aversion for “group” anything, I attended the annual AFSP International Survivors of Suicide Day event in New York City just two weeks later.

Survivor Day was emotional, painful at times, but it was surprisingly comforting to be around people who belonged to the same awful club.  So it’s with a strange sense of comfort that I read through a newly published list of well-known folks (celebrities and otherwise) who have lived through the suicide of a loved one.  (And by “strange,” I only mean that I find it a bit baffling that I should be comforted by the knowledge that even famous people have suffered as I have.)  The list reminds me once again that the experience of surviving a suicide isn’t unique after all, despite how uniquely tainted I felt in the first few decades after my father’s death.

The survivor list, which follows below, was prepared by Dan Fields for the Grief Support Services program of Samaritans, Inc., in Boston.

 

250+ NOTABLE SURVIVORS OF SUICIDE LOSS (as of August 2011)

Lost a Child

President John Quincy Adams (son)

Roger Angell, writer (daughter)

Walter Annenberg, publisher, philanthropist, and diplomat (son)

James Arness, actor (daughter)

Burt Bacharach, singer/songwriter, and Angie Dickinson, actress (daughter)

Ambrose Bierce, writer (son)

Georges Bizet, composer (son)

Marlon Brando, actor (daughter)

Gro Harlem Brundtland, Prime Minister of Norway (son)

Ralph Bunche, winner of Nobel Peace Prize (daughter; also lost an uncle)

Sir Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (daughter)

George Chuvalo, boxer (son; also lost wife)

Judy Collins, singer/songwriter (son)

Tony Dungy, football coach (son)

Mary Engelbreit, artist (son)

Robert Frank, photographer (son)

Robert Frost, poet (son)

Major General Mark Graham (son)

Kenneth Grahame, children’s author (son)

Fritz Haber, winner of Nobel Prize in Chemistry (son; also lost wife)

Eric Hipple, NFL quarterback (son)

L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology founder (son)

Robert Hughes, art critic (son)

Brit Hume, TV journalist (son)

President Andrew Johnson (son)

Jennifer Jones, actress (daughter)

Roger Kahn, sports writer (son)

Walter Koenig, actor (son)

Art Linkletter, radio/TV personality (daughter)

Bernard Madoff, disgraced financier (son)

Thomas Mann, writer (two sons; also lost two sisters)

Herman Melville, writer (son)

Willie Nelson, singer/songwriter (son)

Carroll O’Connor, actor (son)

Eugene O’Neill, writer (son)

Marie Osmond, singer and actress (son)

Farah Pahlavi, Empress of Iran (daughter and son)

Gregory Peck, actor (son)

James Pike, Episcopal bishop (son)

Luke Richardson, hockey player (daughter)

Oral Roberts, televangelist (son)

First Lady Edith Roosevelt (son)

Pierre Salinger, journalist and White House press secretary (son)

Georges Simenon, writer (daughter)

Gordon Smith, U.S. senator (son)

Rosalie Sorrels, singer/songwriter (son)

Danielle Steel, romance novelist (son)

Bart Stupak, U.S. congressman (son)

Arnold Toynbee, historian (son)

Gloria Vanderbilt, fashion designer (son)

Walter Winchell, newspaper and radio commentator (son)

 

Lost a Parent

Kathy Acker, writer (mother)

Conrad Aiken, writer (father)

Buzz Aldrin, astronaut (mother; also lost grandfather)

Hal Ashby, filmmaker (father)

David Axelrod, senior advisor to President Obama (father)

Mikhail Baryshnikov, ballet dancer (mother)

Orson Bean, actor (mother)

Richard Belzer, actor (father)

Larry Bird, basketball player and executive (father)

Bill Blass, fashion designer (father)

Drew Brees, NFL quarterback (mother)

Sarah Brightman, singer/songwriter and actress (father)

Frederick Buechner, writer and theologian (father)

Truman Capote, writer (mother)

Jean Cocteau, writer and filmmaker (father)

Geoff Courtnall, hockey player (father)

Isak Dinesen, writer (father)

Perry Farrell, singer/songwriter (mother)

Karen Finley, performance artist (father)

Janet Flanner, writer (father)

Nick Flynn, writer (mother)

Jane Fonda, actress (mother)

Peter Fonda, actor (mother)

Ernest and Julio Gallo, winemakers (father)

Kaye Gibbons, novelist (mother)

Gail Godwin, writer (father)

Carol Greider, winner of Nobel Prize in Medicine (mother)

Thom Gunn, poet (mother)

Philip Guston, painter (father)

Judson Hale, editor-in-chief of Yankee magazine and

The Old Farmer’s Almanac (father)

Mariette Hartley, actress (father)

Amy Hempel, writer (mother)

Eva Hesse, sculptor (mother)

Christopher Hitchens, writer (mother)

Ben Hogan, golfer (father)

Frieda Hughes, writer and artist (mother: Sylvia Plath; also lost brother)

James Jones, novelist (father)

Randi Kaye, CNN anchor (father)

Franz Kline, painter (father)

Stanley Kunitz, poet (father)

Janet Leigh, actress (father)

Joshua Logan, stage and movie director (father)

René Magritte, painter (mother)

André Malraux, writer and statesman (father)

Archie Manning, NFL quarterback (father)

Charlie Manuel, baseball manager (father)

Pete Maravich, basketball player (mother)

Chester Marcol, NFL kicker (father)

Carl Mayer, screenwriter (father)

Anne Meara, actress and comedian (mother)

Story Musgrave, astronaut (both parents; also lost a brother)

Martina Navratilova, tennis player (father)

Don Nickles, U.S. senator (father)

George Oppen, poet (mother)

Amos Oz, writer (mother)

Ann Packer, writer (father)

Gram Parsons, singer/songwriter (father)

Wolfgang Pauli, winner of Nobel Prize in physics (mother)

Walker Percy, writer (father; also lost a grandfather)

Marjorie Merriweather Post, founder of General Foods (father: C.W. Post)

Freddie Prinze, Jr., actor (father)

Wilhelm Reich, psychiatrist (mother)

Harry Reid, U.S. senator (father)

Richard Rhodes, writer (mother)

Melissa Rivers, TV personality (father)

Karl Rove, political consultant (mother)

Richard Serra, sculptor (mother)

Linda Gray Sexton, writer (mother: Anne Sexton)

Michelle Ray Smith, actress (father)

W. Eugene Smith, photographer (father)

Phil Spector, music producer (father)

Gerry Spence, trial lawyer (mother)

Art Spiegelman, cartoonist (mother)

Wallace Stegner, writer (father)

Barry Switzer, football coach (mother)

Christopher Titus, comedian (mother)

First Lady Bess Truman (father)

Ted Turner, media tycoon (father)

Kurt Vonnegut, writer (mother)

Raoul Wallenberg, humanitarian (mother and stepfather)

Jake Weber, actor (mother)

Paula White, Christian author and pastor (father)

Marianne Wiggins, writer (father)

First Lady Ellen Wilson (father)

Lost a Sibling

Clay Aiken, singer/songwriter (sister)

Robert Antonioni, Massachusetts State Senator (brother)

apl.de.ap, member of The Black Eyed Peas (brother)

Ba Jin, writer (brother)

Angela Perez Baraquio, Miss America 2001 (brother)

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, poet (brother)

Ivy Compton-Burnett, writer (two sisters)

Pat Conroy, writer (brother)

Anderson Cooper, CNN anchor (brother)

Cameron Crowe, screenwriter and filmmaker (sister)

Robert Crumb, cartoonist (brother)

Paul Dirac, winner of Nobel Prize in Physics (brother)

Dominick Dunne, writer (brother)

Dave Eggers, writer (sister)

Mia Farrow, actress and humanitarian (brother)

Suzy Favor-Hamilton, Olympic runner (brother)

Zelda Fitzgerald, writer (brother; also lost a grandmother)

Julia Glass, novelist (sister)

Nan Goldin, photographer (sister)

John Gray, relationship counselor (brother)

Mariel Hemingway, actress and writer (sister: Margaux Hemingway;

also lost a grandfather: Ernest Hemingway)

Katharine Hepburn, actress (brother; also lost a grandfather)

John Hiatt, singer/songwriter (brother)

Jeffrey Hollender, cofounder of Seventh Generation (brother)

Aldous Huxley, writer (brother)

Sam Kinison, comedian (brother)

August Kleinzahler, poet (brother)

Akira Kurosawa, filmmaker (brother)

Guy Maddin, filmmaker (brother)

Mairead Maguire, winner of Nobel Peace Prize (sister)

Gustav Mahler, composer (brother)

Terrence Malick, filmmaker (brother)

Michel Martin, NPR host (brother)

Mark Matousek, writer (sister)

Mary Tyler Moore, actress (sister)

Nichelle Nichols, actress (brother)

Michael Palin, comedian, actor, and writer (sister)

Charlotte Rampling, actress (sister)

Robert Schumann, composer (sister)

Cindy Sherman, photographer (brother)

Joe Strummer, singer/songwriter (brother)

Patrick Swayze, actor (sister)

John Vanbiesbrouck, hockey goalie (brother)

Ludwig Wittgenstein, philosopher (three brothers)

 

Lost a Spouse

Henry Adams, writer (wife)

Gary Allan, singer/songwriter (wife)

Stephen Ambrose, historian (wife)

Catherine Bach, actress (husband)

Jackson Browne, singer/songwriter (wife)

John Carlos, Olympic runner (wife)

Darryl Dawkins, basketball player (estranged wife)

Louise Erdrich, novelist (estranged husband)

W. Mark Felt, Watergate’s “Deep Throat” (wife)

M.F.K. Fisher, food writer (husband)

Henry Fonda, actor (wife)

Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss), children’s author (wife)

Katharine Graham, Washington Post publisher (husband)

Jean Harlow, actress (husband)

Gayl Jones, writer (husband)

Helmut Kohl, Chancellor of Germany (wife)

Timothy Leary, psychologist (wife)

Courtney Love, singer/songwriter (husband: Kurt Cobain)

Carson McCullers, writer (husband)

Jay Novacek, NFL tight end (wife)

Lafitt Pincay, jockey (wife)

Helen Steiner Rice, poet (husband)

Joan Rivers, comedian (husband)

Irma Rombauer, author of The Joy of Cooking (husband)

Dante Gabriel Rossetti, poet and artist (wife)

Jessica Savitch, TV journalist (husband)

Ruth Stone, poet (husband)

 

Lost Other Loved One

Patch Adams, physician (uncle)

Francis Bacon, painter (male companion)

Mark Ballas, dancer and singer/songwriter (uncle)

Drew Barrymore, actress (aunt)

Emmanuelle Béart, actress (boyfriend)

Walter Becker, singer/songwriter (girlfriend)

Elizabeth Bishop, poet (female companion)

David Bowie, singer/songwriter and actor (half-brother)

Lord Byron, poet (grandfather; also, Byron’s father may have died by suicide)

Barbara Cartland, romance novelist (grandfather)

Jamie Lee Curtis, actress (grandfather)

Salvador Dali, painter (grandfather)

Charles Darwin, naturalist (uncle)

Paula Deen, chef (nephew)

Jonathan Edwards, theologian (uncle)

Carmen Electra, actress and model (half-brother)

Eminem, singer/songwriter (two uncles, one of whom he regarded as a father)

Sylvie Fréchette, Canadian synchronized swimmer (fiancé)

Art Garfunkel, singer/songwriter (girlfriend)

Al Green, singer (girlfriend)

Angelica Huston, actress (half-brother)

Ferguson Jenkins, baseball pitcher (fiancée)

John Kerry, U.S. senator (grandfather)

Maxine Hong Kingston, writer (aunt)

Eli Manning, NFL quarterback (grandfather)

Peyton Manning, NFL quarterback (grandfather)

MC Lars, singer/songwriter (college roommate)

George Michael, singer/songwriter (uncle)

Arthur Miller, playwright (uncle)

Liza Minnelli, singer and actress (aunt)

Monica, singer/songwriter (boyfriend)

Demi Moore, actress (stepfather)

Denis Potvin, hockey player (cousin: Marc Potvin)

Theodore Roethke, poet (uncle)

Mark Ruffalo, actor (best friend)

Betrand Russell, philosopher (granddaughter)

Mary Shelley, author (half-sister)

David Spade, actor and comedian (stepfather)

Britney Spears, singer (grandmother)

Benjamin Spock, pediatrician (grandson)

John Paul Stevens, U.S. Supreme Court justice (uncle)

Ben Stiller, actor and comedian (grandmother)

Amy Tan, writer (grandmother)

Sigourney Weaver, actress (uncle)

Florence Welch, singer (grandmother)

Elie Wiesel, writer (close friend: Primo Levi)

 

 



 

28 Responses to We May Think We’re Alone, But We’re Not. New List of Famous Suicide Survivors Just Released.

  1. Sid says:

    Every time I read a list like this, I can’t help but think of the millions of “unknown” suicide victims and their survivors and wonder why everyone seems to care so much when suicide touches the lives of someone famous. First and foremost, they are people like the rest of us and just because they are in the limelight does not make them, or their families, immune to mental illness or other issues that cause someone to commit suicide.

    I consider myself very fortunate to have never been a survivor of someone else’s suicide. I have, however, survived numerous attempts of my own and have seen the aftermath of pain, frustration and confusion those attempts have left behind. I can only image the scope of devastation survivors must wade through after a completed suicide. As such, the nameless, faceless survivors that no one ever hears about are the ones that touch my heart the most and the ones I relate to the most. They are the stories that people should hear. Thankfully the AFSP helps give those people a voice. It truly is an amazing organization.

  2. kristenking says:

    I can appreciate this sentiment — why does it take the knowledge of a famous person’s suffering to bring a common issue to light? I lost my husband to suicide by handgun almost four years ago and have had to, reluctantly, cite a lot of these names and direct friends and family members to their stories to justify my own suffering as a survivor…there are still times that I’d like to pull my hair out over it, it’s maddening.

    I do my best to remember that we have been raised in a none-of-my-business society — until it involves celebrities, and then it’s a free-for-all, fair game, and sadly too many people cannot let down those immediate barriers to help deconstruct this flawed behavior; I feel compelled, when I find it necessary to use the Hemingways or the Fondas to illuminate the pain bequeathed to my son and me by our loss, to thank them somehow for baring their all (like it or not) so that I might help educate another person who doesn’t understand why I’m, “still not okay”.

    Thank you for this list; you might add Charlotte Rampling, whose sister died by suicide in 1963 after suffering a miscarriage over which she felt responsible. Rampling took a long hiatus from acting in the 1990s to undergo intensive therapy to deal with her troubles related to her sister’s death.

  3. Joe says:

    Remove Courtney Love from this list…and I agree why does it take people in the spotlight to bring awareness to a widespread issue. Lives are lives and just because you are related to someone famous does not make your life any more important.

  4. Thank you for providing this list and thank you for this blog. I just started to read your blog in search of my own healing. I myself am a sibling survivor of suicide and just began blogging about my healing process. Although I feel horrible that they have the same scars as I do but I do take comfort in knowing more people are out there.

  5. grinandbearit says:

    I lost my daughter to suicide by hanging 11 months ago. I hate seeing a list of people who have also suffered this terrible tragedy but in the same sense I feel comfort in knowing others feel my pain.

    • Philippa Lawn says:

      I am with you. My step daughter hung herself 7 months ago, everything about what she did is horrific and while we are gradually getting used to the fact she is no longer here and trying to move on, it is hard to get certain things out of your head. There is some comfort in knowing that these people have gone through a similar thing and the fact that they appear to be living happy, full lives does help. However, I expect everyone is idividual in how they come to terms with this. We are looking to the future, planning fun things to do as a family – as life is for living.

  6. Karen S says:

    I have lost 2 sons, a sister, and a niece to suicide. A very good friend just died of suicide 2 weeks ago. Will there ever be an answer?

    • Wendy says:

      No, there will never be an answer. The only thing we can do is try to value the lives around us and love to the best of our abilities. My heart breaks for your losses.

    • survivor says:

      Another survivor once said to me, “We cannot understand a complete loss of hope of another. That is a private matter between a man and his maker.”

  7. Mark Lewis says:

    I lost my Husband to suicide in 2006. Since his death I have become more aware of suicide and it’s impact on those who survive losing a loved one to it. Recently I learned that the rate of suicide is more than double the murder rate in the U.S..
    This list is not surprising given that statistic. It is a comfort to know that we are not alone. May we be ever more vigilant and compassionate to our fellows in distress.

  8. Jenna says:

    I was saddened to look at the list of famous people who had lost someone to suicide. I was even more sad when I had to keep scrolling and scrolling to get to the end of the list – there were so many names.
    Thank you for writing this blog. I hope it helps many people who are considering suicide to choose to live their life.
    It does get better!
    Thank you
    Jenna Xx

  9. Judy says:

    My son attempted suicide by using a gun. He lived and endured many facial reconstructive surgies. Because of the change in his appearance, we have a constant reminder of this tragic event. As hard as it is for me to get past it, his determination to get well, he has become our inspiration. He now has a lovely family and a lovely life. There is much on the other side of depression to look forward to if you can pull yourself out of it. I know its easier said than done. I wish I had some words of wisdom for you, but I don’t. I can only tell you that some how my son got through his depression, and suicide attempt, and now life is good for him. Please know that it is possible.

  10. Barb says:

    No one is immune from suicide and this life altering experience changes everyone and affects millions each year worldwide. The author Eric having lost his father to suicide, I myself am a loss survivor and lost my late husband Rob to suicide in Dec. 2000.

    Many loss survivors feel the need to reach out and share their personal stories, in hopes it helps others and to raise awareness, dispel stigma and save lives. Eric has authored several books, I have created a fanpage “Suicide Shatters” to host posts to help educate, raise awareness and get the message out that suicide can in many cases be prevented but we need to talk about it and get it out in the open.

    I think when we see a list like this and realize that many on here were from many different walks of life, some who we’d think would “have it all!” have in fact had their lives shattered too.

    Thanks for this post Eric, I believe every single post makes a difference!

    The fact this list from Samaritans happens to highlight celebrity losses is no less important or more important than any life lost to suicide. We happen to live in a world that worships celebrity, and if their names or causes can help shed light on suicide, then I’m all for it! Each life matters and their loved ones left behind to try and figure out what happened and to then have to learn how to cope, heal and move forward with their lives is all the result of suicide.

  11. Alicia says:

    I lost a brother January 16th 1990. I thought I was the only one who feels like it’s a horrible, awful club that I belong to now. No one wants to join this club, but we are forced to and the price is one that is way too high. I would give anything not to have to be a member and for their never to be anymore members again.

  12. angela says:

    I think this list, may help other survivors not feel alone. As sad as is it, being “famous” means that others pay more attention to a situation. My heart is sad for all survivors.

  13. Colleen says:

    I lost my beloved husband Patrick when he took his own life on Jan 2, 2012. This was something completely unexpected, shocking, and devastating. We had an incredible marriage for 20 years, loved and respected each other, had mentored many couples both younger and older than us as well as young adults. He was a kind and gentle soul, talented musician, brilliant man, and friend to many. He was my lover, my best friend, my confidant, my heart. I am not sure how I have survived my overwhelming loss, but I have. Though I find myself left to wade through the ravage and the ruins, I pick up one more piece each day and begin to rebuild my life a little each day. When I am not suffering the devastating, deep-deep, sorrow I have, I am dealing with the fear of having to rebuild my life at the age of 56 on my own,by myself. I have a therapist and attend a support group and I find both helpful. There are times when I just want and need my husband to help me get through the bad days and the rough patches. Though we were not religious, we were very spiritual and my husband has been with me most days since he took his own life. Despite the fact that I have so many unanswered questions, I do not project those onto him, but rather grant him the peace and comfort he deserves in his spiritual life. This is very difficult for me at times because of the anger and abandonment I feel. We had no children so the loneliness is quite unbearable at times. I am honest with him regarding my feelings, but do not project that onto him. Choosing to take his own life was a choice so uncharacteristic of my husband. It is baffling at best and I treat myself with kindness regarding this point. I have realized that I do not have any answer NOW, nor will I EVER have any answers and I am OK with that. Does that viewpoint make my suffering any less? Yes, and no. Yes, because I just don’t beat myself up over the unanswered questions and no, because it just makes no sense. Its a balance and most days I can keep it in perspective. On the days when I can’t, I allow myself that as well and all the emotions that go along with it. I have made conscious choices most of my life that has rendered me much happiness and now I find myself completely void of that. As the days pass, I find little moments of peace and I do acknowledge these, they just don’t come enough yet. I have searched the internet and have not been able to find any support groups in my state(CA)for widows without children. Is there anyone out there that knows of such a group that I might be able to connect with?

    • kathy wallace says:

      Thank you for your womderful words… I am going to steal some of them for our support group.
      “Despite the fact that we have so many unanswered questions, we will not project those onto our loved ones, but rather grant them the peace and comfort they deserve in their spiritual life and may we treat ourselves with kindness. May we realize that we do not have any answer NOW, and we may never have any answers and may we be OK with that. May we give ourselves permission to not beat ourselves up over the unanswered questions because it just makes no sense. It is a balance and most days please grant us the ability to keep it in perspective. On the days when we can’t, may we allow ourselves that as well and all the emotions that go along with it. As the days pass, may we find little moments of peace and acknowledge these and not feel guilty. AND…May we be ever more vigilant and compassionate to our fellows in distress. Thank you, Colleen.

    • Judith says:

      Dear Colleen,

      November 21,2012 was 44 years since my mother’s suicide, I was 15. That date reflected the same amount of years she lived on this earth.

      I found great solace and rewards when I was 44….I became a cemetery/funeral counselor. Fast forward ….a move across the country and a great compassion for the grieving heart….I started Grief Buddy. Although I have not blogged for over 2 years….there are over 600 blogs associated with loss/grieving….personal, professional and current event inspired.

      My web site was a labor of love. Please find solace in my words, and solace in the fact that I too grieve everyday for my mother ….for the days we had….and the days we never had.

      I sign off my blogs as “friend” ….to you I will sign off as Judith ….
      http://www.griefbuddy.com

      • ericmarcus says:

        Thank you for posting a comment to my blog post. Next year it will be 44 years since my father took his life. Like your mother, he was 44 when he died. I think often about this approaching anniversary and what it means to me. I’m still thinking. I’m so sorry for what you’ve lived through and inspired by how you’ve taken your experience and used it to help others.

  14. Andrea says:

    Thanks so much. I lost my brother to suicide last winter, and this list has comforted me very much.

  15. Mary Galasso says:

    I have lost 2 brothers, a cousin and a friend to suicide. And although I can not bring them back… I have taken to doing the Out of the Darkness Walk to raise money for the AFSP (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention)… in hopes of raising awareness and possibly with the money I raise, helping others in need. Check out the website @ http://www.outofthedakness.org to find a walk near you. Much love to all of you out there who are missing someone as well!!

  16. Eric, thank you for posting this list. Yes, it is long, but not nearly as long a list of we, the common folks, who have lost a loved one to suicide. After my son died, I wrote a book about his suicide as a result of bipolar disorder and how our family survived. And many times while I was marketing it, I was told it would never sell because I wasn’t a famous person. In the end I did find a publisher – in fact I found publisher number two after my first went out of business, and I’m happy to say my book, Leaving the Hall Light On, is doing well. I also volunteer. One of the places I work is the Facebook suicide memorial page, Putting A Face On Suicide. There are over 9,000 likes on that page, and now over 1500 faces of suicide. Please come by, write about it. It is very powerful – even without a famous person in sight.

  17. Wendy says:

    I have lived 8 1/2 years of suicide. From the day my son died to this one. It does not matter if you are rich or poor, famous or infamous, the pain of the loss is just has heavy. The sun continues to rise and set, without relenting for those of us whom time now stands still. What shocks me is not how he died but the strength he had to hold on as long as he did. Caleb’s mom.

  18. stephanie larson says:

    The last 2 funerals I have been to have been suicides. One, my beloved nephew(who lived with us for a time) and the other a close childhood friend of my son. Both of these young men were 25 and younger. I still have times where I cannot wrap my head around it. Yet, I also suffer from depression, so I can also say I’ve sort of walked in their feelings of hopelessness shoes. There is so much support, care, information about suicide. I was/am still shocked that many people do NOT talk about it as a cause of death. I hope that there continues to be this sort of website, books, articles, etc. about this subject. Just like different kinds of births, there are different kinds on deaths.

  19. Sharing stories of those left behind by suicide begins to break the stigma and starts the dialogue on suicide prevention.

    I invite you to check out the Collateral Damage Project.

    The Collateral Damage Project works to prevent suicide in by stomping stigma, creating proactive dialogue and pushing for gatekeeper training. With open communication at its heart, the project includes a touring gallery exhibition and book (both depicting portraits of those “left behind” by a loved one’s suicide), a number of annual fundraising events and local, national and international speaking appearances by Chisholm and members of the advisory team, some of Canada’s most respected and recognized athletes, musicians and doctors. In 2012, the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health honoured Chisholm with a prestigious Champions of Mental Health Award.

  20. survivor says:

    Thank you. I lost my grandmother to suicide when I was ten years old. I later learned that her sister had also committed suicide; both by hanging. I am my grandmother’s namesake. I have spent much of my life trying understand her suicide.
    I have a Master’s degree in Thanatology. I have volunteered and worked in hospice for 9 years. I currently work with bereaved children.
    Thirty years later, I still don’t understand suicide or the intrigue that built around it from the moment I found out she had hung herself.
    It helps to know of others that have successfully survived suicide. It’s a horrifying and brutal experience.

  21. Rick says:

    I have read that story Musgrave has recently lost a son aswell. I know that this list just scratches the surface, especially since people tended to cover suicide up back in the day. It is still such a hush hush topic. For example Katherine Hepburn’s family denied that the hanging of her brother was a suicide, Mary Tyler moore’s son shot himself which was called an accident. I’ve lost a brother to suicide 6 months ago and this list gives me alot of comfort.

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