Laura spreads her brother’s ashes near her favorite tree in a scene from “Four Sisters.” Photo courtesy of
Laura spreads her brother’s ashes near her favorite tree in a scene from “Four Sisters.” Photo courtesy of


Four women, each of whom lost a brother to suicide, are featured in a new documentary designed to raise awareness about how siblings are affected by suicide. “Four Sisters” will premiere in Seattle on Monday, May 5, at 6:30 p.m. at the University of Washington’s Social Work Commons. A panel discussion and social hour will follow the screening. Admission is free, but reservations are recommended ( 

The film was produced by Caley Cook, an award-winning journalist and faculty member of the UW’s Department of Communication. Sponsoring the premiere is Forefront: Innovations in Suicide Prevention, a UW-affiliated nonprofit.

Cook, who lost her brother Garrett to suicide in 2007, said that while producing the film, she learned that many people who have lost loved ones to suicide do not fully understand how or where to find help. She hopes the documentary can provide those vital pieces of information to people.

“The grief, or bereavement, associated with a suicide death is more complicated than grief from other losses,” said Sue Eastgard, director of training for Forefront. “This documentary gives a voice for what is often unspoken and helps other loss survivors realize they are not alone.”

Added Forefront spokesperson Sue Lockett John: “[The screening] is a community-building event. We want to provide this opportunity for someone who lost a loved one to suicide to connect with others who share this understanding.”

Cook shared an anecdote from the film’s recent premiere in Austin, Texas, where the four women featured in the film live; they were part of a panel discussion afterward. “There was one middle-aged couple there, and the husband had to speak on behalf of his wife because she was too overcome with emotion,” Cook said. “He told the panel that his wife had just recently lost her brother to suicide and did not know what to do. [The four women] all got out of their seats and consoled her right then and there. We’re trying to get everyone to understand that this is more than just a documentary.” 

If you or anyone you know has thoughts of suicide, seek help at or call the 24-hour hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

For more information about “Four Sisters,” visit

For more about Forefront, visit

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