After Daniel: A Suicide Survivor's Tale
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Moira Farr discovered Daniel Jones' body on Valentine's Day, 1994. Struggling with deep depression, he had killed himself using a method clearly outlined in the bestselling book, Final Exit. Six years later, in an account both deeply personal and thoughtfully political, Farr reflects on Daniel's suicide and its consequences. After Daniel is not a sensational tell-all, a self-help book on grieving, or an academic review of suicide theories. It is one woman's story—beautifully, lyrically told—of her own experiences and her realization that answers come both from within and from looking at suicide in a wider social context. After Daniel reaches beyond suicide survivors to all those who embrace the sacredness of life and love.
functioned as a mask and a distraction from those other disorders. As is the case with hardcore addicts, once Daniel stopped drinking, he faced the real work of dealing with his fears and emotional problems. With much help from others that he acknowledged, he did that work, and had made his way. Without consulting a suicide risk—assessment checklist, there would have been no reason in the minds of his friends and colleagues to bring in the commital forms. Daniel would have vehemently rejected
economic development, street drugs and guns proliferate, and we see the casualties rise. Japan’s suicide rate has escalated in the wake of its recently plummeting economy. Focussing only on organic, individual causes for suicide to the exclusion of all other factors, and scurrying away in fear and dismissal from social responsibilities and community interventions, will not make it go away. Many people want to uphold a blinkered biological approach to depression: We live in an age of
countries only for the benefit of tourists. In reality, such sacred and ancient festivals that dwell deliberately for a defined period of time on our connection to and feeling for the dead are thoroughly healthy expressions of the most essential of human needs. If we allowed ourselves to channel our grief in this intense, contained way, we might actually resolve it sooner, and the dead could be integrated into our lives more seamlessly. “I’m grievin’ as fast as I can!” wrote one woman wryly, in
around 5:30 in Toronto in January, and it’s unforgivingly cold. I drive through the early darkness into a remote, unfamiliar suburb, a sprawling nowhere-land of low-cost high-rises, strip-malls, smoky donut shops, muffler-repair franchises. It is a landscape imbued with all the welcoming charm of a Siberian gulag. I’ve got the radio tuned to a station that airs Dr. Laura Schlesinger nonstop all evening. I must admit, the call-in advice show is gruesomely fascinating. I even once bought a
Suicidal Behavior,” by Dr. Kenneth S. Adam in Annals New York Academy of Sciences, v. 486, 1986. Reprinted with permission of the author. The Suicidal Mind by Edwin S. Shneidman ©1996 by Edwin S. Sheidman. Used by permission, Oxford University Press. “Surviving Harvey,” by Katherine Govier from Toronto Life, December 1996, reprinted with the permission of the author. Touching from a Distance by Deborah Curtis © 1995 by Deborah Curtis. Used by permission, Faber and Faber. “Fictional Depictions