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Talk About Suicide

A friend of mine committed suicide recently. He was highly intelligent, quite skilled at his profession, and helped a multitude of people in his life. He was also bipolar. During his manic phases, which could go on for months, he ran up debts and got involved in very toxic relationships. In his depressive phases he saw himself clearly and could not understand why others would reject him for being mentally ill. He was in therapy and on medication.

In the wee hours of a cold winter’s night, he stepped in front of a semi on the freeway. Some are colluding to spin his suicide as an accident. It was not. It was thought out, planned.

I am, sadly, familiar with suicide. My son took his own life, as did my maternal grandfather. We do ourselves and others no favors by denying suicide, by speaking of it in euphemisms and denying it with revisionist stories. I understand why we do so.

We are still ashamed of suicide. We think it indicates something wrong with us as family, friends, or coworkers. We imagine that it somehow puts blame on us because we didn’t prevent it. Light heals. Truth frees us. Even hard truth and burning light. Facing uncomfortable truth is the path to healing. Suicide is preventable. Talk about it.


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