Reviews & Articles

REVIEWS

WriterJenn (From the Blog of Jennifer R. Hubbard)
February 21, 2012

Spirituality & Health Magazine
Review by Kristine Morris, January-February 2011

“Perhaps some who read this book might be deterred from the act.  At the very least, in breaking the silence that surrounds the topic Marcus offers those who have been left behind the knowledge that they are not alone, and that others before them have found a way to live, to understand, and even to heal.”

____________________________________________________________

“Surviving Suicide,” a publication of the American Association of Suicidology
Review by Ginny Sparrow, Fall 2010

“Even if you think you know everything ever published on suicide, as I did, you will surely find facts and insights new to you. This book is a must have.
____________________________________________________________

The Good Men Project Magazine
Review by
Mervyn Kaufman, November 30, 2010

“[Marcus's] book…deserves a place of prominence on everyone’s bookshelf.”

____________________________________________________________

The Advocate
Review (of original edition)
by Leroy Aarons, March 19, 1996

“[In this] well-researched, encyclopedic compendium . . . written in a crisp Q&A format Eric Marcus has provided the ultimate distillation of what experts know about the thorny issue of suicide.”

________________________________________________________

ARTICLES

Dharun Ravi Wrongly Blamed for Tyler Clementi’s Suicide
by Eric Marcus
NJ Star-Ledger, March 30, 2012

“Suicide: The Silent Epidemic”
An actress and an author discuss how it took their fathers

by Mariette Hartley and Eric Marcus
USA Weekend Magazine
June 1996

More lives are lost to suicide than to murder. Consider this: Every 15 minutes, another American commits suicide, now one of the leading causes of death in the nation, surpassing murder. Despite its prevalence – and the fact it can often be prevented, experts say – the subject of suicide remains in the closet. Writer Eric Marcus and actress Mariette Hartley want to change that. Marcus was 12 when his father, a postal clerk, committed suicide by taking and overdose of medication. Now 37, Marcus has written

Why Suicide? Answers to 200 of the Most Frequently Asked Questions About Suicide, Attempted Suicide and Assisted Suicide. Hartley, 55, who found her father, a retired ad executive, after he shot himself at age 67, authored a book about her experience,Breaking the Silence.

The two suicide “survivors” recently met for the first time in Hartley’s Los Angeles home to discuss their shared tragedies. Excerpts from their interview:

TWO FATHERS’ SUICIDES

Eric Marcus: My parents separated two years before my father died, and he went to live in a boarding house. My brother and I would spend every Saturday with him. Those were the happiest two years of my life. His behavior was erratic. I learned later that he suffered from depression and was also schizophrenic. But he was still my dad; he was still someone I loved. When he died, nobody said it was suicide. The official word was that he died of pneumonia. It was just the most ridiculous charade. This man was so strong, so vital. I had played football with him the week before.

Mariette Hartley: I was 23, on the verge of a major success [as an actress] when this happened. This was his first and only attempt. My parents had moved out to California to help me after my divorce from my first husband. We watched a slow deterioration. He was catatonic. He would sit in a corner for months and not talk – I’d beg him to get help. That morning he called me into his room to look for his glasses. They were clearly hidden under the bedclothes. I think he was trying to reach out for help, but he never said anything. [She returned to the kitchen to finish breakfast with her mother, then heard the gunshot.] I was told not to talk about this with anybody. My mother was full of shame, and didn’t want my father to be known only for that.

Marcus: I was a very good child at the funeral. Didn’t cry. Everyone said, “You’re a grownup now; you have to take care of your mother.” Inside, I wanted to scream at everyone and say, “You did this to him.” I was all alone in the world. I had no one to talk to. To this day our family doesn’t want to talk about it.

Hartley: The most dangerous time for survivors is those first few months after the death, because we are suicidal. This is what nobody wants to talk about. I was so suicidal after my father died. You want to join them. It’s a lot less painful. Survivors are terrified of those feelings.

FEARS: REAL AND IMAGINED

Marcus: I worry sometimes, when I’m feeling frustrated about work or life, that I’ll end up going down the same path my father did. Ten years after the suicide, I went to therapy. My inclination was to downplay what happened. But it doesn’t help to deny the trauma of a suicide.

Hartley: (who says she had suicidal thoughts and began drinking; she has since quit): After my dad died, I was living in a chaotic state. I would hear gunshots whenever I turned my head to the right. I don’t know how I got through it. My therapist helped. My children [she has two children from her second marriage] and my ex-husband helped me enormously.

GRIEF AND RECOVERY

Hartley: Suicide has a built-in core of stigma, blame, shame, what if, if only, why, I should have known. There are no other deaths like that.

Marcus: The worst thing you can do is not talk about it. Research shows that survivors are eight times more likely to commit suicide than the general population. The best thing you can do to hasten the healing is to drag yourself, and your children, to a suicide survivor support group.

WHAT TO SAY

Marcus: People ask me what to say to someone whose loved one has committed suicide. Whatever you do, if you write a note, or call, just don’t ignore them. I felt so ignored after my father died. Don’t walk away. Because what they need most is you.

THE FACTS

Officially, more than 30,000 people a year commit suicide. But the actual number may be three to five times higher. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students after accidents. The suicide rate among those 65 and older rose 9 percent between 1980 and 1992, after a 40-year decline. The suicide rate for children ages 10-14 has more than doubled over the past 10 years. Three-quarters of suicides are committed by white males.

________________________________________________________