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Usher, S. (2015). Douglas H. Frayn 1936-2015. Canadian J. Psychoanal., 23(2):410-411.

(2015). Canadian Journal of Psychoanalysis, 23(2):410-411

Douglas H. Frayn 1936-2015

Sarah Usher

There are many stories about Dr. Doug Frayn, associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Toronto, supervising and training analyst of the Canadian Psychoanalytic Institute, past director of the Toronto Institute of Psychoanalysis, former book editor of the Canadian Journal of Psychoanalysis/Revue canadienne de psychanalyse, saxophone player, operetta singer, painter, and author, but a favourite has to be the one I heard very recently from a guest of the tps who lived near Doug. This man was out walking a large sheepdog when Doug, whom he knew to be a senior training analyst, was coming home. The guest greeted Doug respectfully; the dog, however, immediately and with abandon jumped on Doug and began humping him rather aggressively. The guest shrank in embarrassment. Doug, nonplussed, exclaimed, “What a loving dog!”

Then there's the story that an old friend tells of his trip with Doug to Las Vegas. They were packing to leave at the end of their trip and the radio in the hotel room was on. A Baptist minister was exhorting listeners, “Go down to Egypt!” Doug lit up: “This is a sign. We have to go to the Luxor Hotel and put our money on the table one more time.” They did and won enough for cab fare to the airport.

It seems appropriate to start a memoriam for Doug Frayn with humour, as humour was his stock-in-trade. His life was not easy, but his remarkable sense of humour never failed him. Even at the end, when I saw him in hospital hooked up to all kinds of tubes, hardly able to speak, and I was trying to cheer him (or myself) up, I found myself saying, “You're doing good.” He whispered in response, “If this is good, I'd hate to see bad.”

Doug Frayn was born in Kingston, Ontario, the son of the deputy warden of the Kingston Penitentiary. His mother was a midwife, whom, he said with some pride, delivered Don Cherry—with whom he played hockey for some years.

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