Having lost my own son to suicide, I still think it is so easy to misunderstand the “why” and to want to have some answer, to pin the blame on something. As Leah suggests below, perhaps we are not asking the right questions. Maybe we should be asking, “How can we ensure that the people in our lives feel truly welcomed in this world?” and “How can we help each other since, amid the range of human emotion, probably the majority of us ask at one time or another, “Why NOT suicide?” and “What are the best ways we can help people to stay . . . stay even though it is so very dark and we can feel so overwhelmed and confused that we see no light and don’t know if the tunnel ends.” As Monica Cassani has reminded us in her blog, Beyond Meds (see referenced below) life is not so simple and people so self-sufficient that we can simply have religious or moral discussions about suicide. Instead, we have to love, to pray for, to hang tough with friends who are hurting so much, and keep lighting the candle and placing it in front of them.
By Leah Harris
Is it melancholy to think that a world that Robin Williams can’t live in must be broken? To tie this sad event to the overarching misery of our times?
– Russell Brand, comedian/actor
Like millions, I am sitting with the fact that one of the funniest people to grace the planet has died by his own hand. Robin Williams’ death has hit people of my generation, Generation X, especially hard. After all, his face flashed often across our childhood screens. Mork and Mindy episodes were a source of solace for me as a little girl, as I bounced around between foster homes and family members’ homes, while my single mother cycled in and out of the state mental hospital, fighting to survive. I could laugh and say “nanu, nanu – shazbot” and “KO” and do the silly hand sign and forget for just a little while about…
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