The Grief Response in April Raintree
In the last two chapters of Beatrice Culleton's novel, In Search of April Raintree, Culleton reveals the "grief response" experienced by April Raintree following the suicide death of her sister Cheryl. Culleton opens the door for readers by showing them what it's like to be a suicide survivor. McIntosh defines suicide survivor as "an individual who remains alive following the suicide death of someone with whom they had a significant relationship or emotional bond" (McIntosh). It is estimated that every completed suicide leaves 6-8 survivors. Reading In Search of April Raintree is in fact a beneficial activity to add to a personal healing program for those coping with suicide or those supporting suicide-victims because of the way the novel helps people to relate to and understand the feelings and issues (grief response) experienced by April Raintree. Culleton showed readers that suicide survivors are not only initially impacted with feelings of shock and disbelief and a sense of loss, they are left with a legacy of guilt, anger and shame (Rubel 1).
Shock and disbelief mark the beginning of the grief response following the suicide death of a loved person. Witnessing the suicide or discovering the body of a loved one compounds the shock of the survivor. April did not witness the suicide or find the body of her sister Cheryl. This is evidenced by hearing of her sister's fate from a bystander that witnessed Cheryl jumping to her death and by her own actions "I was looking down at the waters, looking for the body" (Culleton 190). April's silent actions on top of the bridge demonstrate the shock and disbelief she must have felt at that moment in her life:
Now I watched, hoping that Cheryl was somewhere down there, alive. But I knew there was no hope. Not for Cheryl. Not anymore. I ached inside. I wanted to let loose with my tears. I felt like sobbing, screaming, wailing. But I just stood there, using the... [continues]
Cite This Essay
(2005, 12). Survivors of Suicide. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 12, 2005, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Survivors-Suicide-75987.html
"Survivors of Suicide" StudyMode.com. 12 2005. 12 2005 <http://www.studymode.com/essays/Survivors-Suicide-75987.html>.
"Survivors of Suicide." StudyMode.com. 12, 2005. Accessed 12, 2005. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Survivors-Suicide-75987.html.