No Time to Say Goodbye

No Time to Say Goodbye

No Time to Say Goodbye: Surviving the Suicide of a Loved One

Fine, Carla






Suicide would appear to be the last taboo. Even incest is now discussed freely in popular media, but the suicide of a loved one is still an act most people are unable to talk about–or even admit to their closest family or friends. This is just one of the many painful and paralyzing truths author Carla Fine discovered when her husband, a successful young physician, took his own life in December 1989. And being unable to speak openly and honestly about the cause of her pain made it all the more difficult for her to survive.

With No Time to Say Goodbye, she brings suicide survival from the darkness into light, speaking frankly about the overwhelming feelings of confusion, guilt, shame, anger, and loneliness that are shared by all survivors. Fine draws on her own experience and on conversations with many other survivors–as well as on the knowledge of counselors and mental health professionals. She offers a strong helping hand and invaluable guidance to the vast numbers of family and friends who are left behind by the more than thirty thousand people who commit suicide each year, struggling to make sense of an act that seems to them senseless, and to pick up the pieces of their own shattered lives. And, perhaps most important, for the first time in any book, she allows survivors to see that they are not alone in their feelings of grief and despair.


Publishers Weekly

In 1989, the author’s husband of 21 years, 44-year-old Harry, a New York City physician who was depressed over the recent deaths of his parents, killed himself with a lethal dose of an anesthetic. Stunned by her loss, Fine (Married to Medicine: An Intimate Portrait of Doctors’ Wives) searched in vain for books on how to deal with the suicide of a loved one. In her comprehensive and well-written manual for “suicide survivors,” such as herself, she offers advice for those recovering from the suicide of a marital partner, relative or close friend. Drawing on research, interviews with survivors and her own experience, Fine provides insights into living beyond this tragedy including dealing with feelings of guilt and anger, the stigma of suicide and financial and legal problems, and she tells where to get help. She stresses that joining a peer support group is an important coping tool. Although some of the descriptions of suicides make for harrowing reading, the book is a valuable contribution to an overlooked subject.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Library Journal

A great many books have been written on the reasons for suicide from the victim’s point of view, but this powerful work deals with the wrenching emotional effects of unexpected purposeful death on grieving survivors. The author’s husband, seemingly a thriving physician, took his life in December 1989. Fine’s discovery of his body left her with a flood of mixed emotions and anguish that inspired her to record, in vividly honest terms, the legacy of suicide on survivors. Despite the permanent sadness and even humiliation that suicide survivors face, this book offers hope in its summary of predictable patterns of adjustment. Sections move from the suicide, to its aftermath, to survival and how to make sense of the chaos. An excellent appendix includes current information on organizations, resource materials, and support groups for suicide survivors. The bibliography is extensive and useful. Recommended for public libraries and specialized mental health collections.?Catherine T. Charvat, John Marshall Lib., Alexandria, Va.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.


In a frantic attempt to understand the sudden suicide of my brother, I read numerous suicide related titles. Carla Fine’s “No Time to Say Goodbye : Surviving the Suicide of a Loved One” was the only book which in anyway connected with my raw feelings as a survivor. It’s not a great academic study of suicide. The professional, academic titles are painfully remote, inaccurate and inadequate from a survivor’s perspective. “No Time to Say Goodbye:” doesn’t answer the only question that matters most to survivors, “Why?”. It provides a supporting context for the horrendous assault on a survivor’s emotional and intellectual resources following a loved one’s suicide. Knowing that others feel the same things doesn’t make the pain go away, but reassures that probably you too will survive what feels unbearable. I personally found this book more helpful that the visits to “professional” counselors. Some things in life have to be experienced, not studied, to be understood. Sadly the author has the painful real life credentials to understand and connect with survivors. From her own traumatic loss Carla Fine has provided a great measure of help in what appears to be a helpless situation.

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Barnes & Noble

Ten years ago, my mother commited suicide. I am finally at a point in my life where I am ready to deal with it and I just finished this book. It was absolutely the best tool to help others in a similar situation. I feel liberated and freed from many of my self-defeating emotions after having read this book and I HIGHLY recommend it to ANYONE who is a survivor of suicide. God bless!

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No, we are not going crazy and we are not the only ones. This book tells the stories of a number of men and women who lost various loved ones to suicide. They tell about how it was in the beginning and how it has become some time later.
Carla addresses the issue of emotional wreckage as well as practical problems that arise – financial, social, life from now on.
The stories relate how grief relating to suicide is so different than from other types of grief. After all, the loved one chose to leave often with no warning signs or signs that are only too obvious once it is too late to do anything about them.
I recommend this to anyone who lost somebody to suicide and to everyone who wants to help someone who has. You may get an understanding of what this kind of grief does to the person you care about.

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