The following two comments are from readers of my blog and the Huffington Post.
First, let me say how very sorry I am over the death of your son, Andrew. I lost my dear,sweet dad to suicide exactly a year ago this week, so I’ve a special appreciation for the work that you’re doing and the particular grief that whipsaws survivors of suicide.
Like you, I am left deeply saddened by the suicide of Alexander McQueen and how quickly his story has been swept to the bottom of the list of celebrity news. There are many more suicides than murders every year in this country and yet people are shocked when I tell them. There seems to be a “whistling past the graveyard” deniability. “This will surely never happen to me and it’s so depressing, lets talk about something else, okay?
Like you, I was also surprised at the number of people that I knew who had a suicide in their immediate family. And the number of famous people: Sen. Harry Reid, Danielle Steel, Judy Collins, Mary Tyler Moore, who had suicides in their family. I was shocked, after reading countless books on the subject at how little the psychiatric world truly understands about suicide, or how to treat survivors.
If you have any questions or comments for me, feel free to respond. This year has taught me much and I’d be glad to share what I know for sure.
All the best to you, my friend.
In a period of two short years, my father lost three male friends to suicide–all financially/professionally successful and between the ages of 55-60. They all committed suicide by shooting themselves, as well. One had so many friends that speakers were put outside the large Catholic church where his funeral was held in order for the overflow of attendees to hear the service, for literally thousands of people came to his funeral, and all the attendees could not fit in the church. You would think with each of these men that he had everything to live for. Suicide is misunderstood, and I completely agree with you that it needs to be talked about and brought out into the open. My heart goes out to you and your attempting to do this with the memory of your son.
Mom from Texas
I am publishing the two comments above, because they reinforce the message that I am working to convey as far and as wide as I can; suicide is PANDEMIC.
I am not saying this so that we get our knickers in a twist, but as a society we should stop and reflect. Amongst the questions we should ask ourselves, the following would be good to start with:
Are we in the Western world, with all our money, apparent freedom, technology, MacMansions, food, endless choice of clothes, entertainment, tourist destinations and on and on; are we happy? Are we happier than those in the third world without our material riches? Are we healthy/healthier?
Is there peace in the world?
Are we at Peace with Nature and is Nature at Peace with us?
Are we at Peace with ourselves?
We need to slow down, we need to stop running away from ourselves and need to learn to listen.
Suicide and all the other modern dis-eases, all of them on the increase, they all come from the same cancer of the soul.