Year: 2007 Source: Qualitative Inquiry, v.13, no.8, (December 2007), p.1209-1220 SIEC No: 20070966

The word suicide takes on a life of its own. People are both repulsed and intrigued by the word and the silence it brings. Those who survive a loved one’s suicide face the inherent contradictions that exist in society: a mixture of sympathy and disgust, spectacle and removal. The author’s sister was a clinical neurologist working at a well-known, top-tier medical institution who committed suicide in reaction to thwarted efforts to obtain a tenured position. As a result, the author faced within herself a mixture of horror and wonder, isolation and community, and anger and stillness. A survivor’s grief has no structure, and feelings and thoughts meander without rhyme or reason like the primitive rhizome as an uncovered memory constantly stops in the middle and unfolds to another. This autoethnographic article explores Deleuze and Guattari’s oppositional binaries and the author’s compelling need to search the silence.