Each of us had pulled away from the family at some point in our lives—we’d had to in order to forge our own identities, to go from being a Sedaris to being our own specific Sedaris. Tiffany, though, stayed away....I'm impressed by Sedaris's willingness to go ahead and say — in so many words — how could you do this to me? I'd like to think that in some circumstances, it could help the would-be suicide to see things from a different point of view. This is about my family... my ancient tribe.
“Why do you think she did it?”... How could anyone purposefully leave us, us, of all people? This is how I thought of it, for though I’ve often lost faith in myself, I’ve never lost it in my family, in my certainty that we are fundamentally better than everyone else. It’s an archaic belief, one that I haven’t seriously reconsidered since my late teens, but still I hold it. Ours is the only club I’d ever wanted to be a member of, so I couldn’t imagine quitting. Backing off for a year or two was understandable, but to want out so badly that you’d take your own life?
“I don’t know that it had anything to do with us,” my father said. But how could it have not? Doesn’t the blood of every suicide splash back on our faces?
October 22, 2013
He seems to have practically no information about why she did it, and the story is very much about the diminishment of the (still large) family. The sister, Tiffany, had been estranged from the rest for years. (She left a will: "In it, she decreed that we, her family, could not have her body or attend her memorial service.") So this is about the permanent loss of someone who really already wasn't there.