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Re: “Serraglio

I would like to add to this commentary. I agree that the issues raised as possible causes for this tragedy are periperal at best, however, one issue, mental health is not listed, which in fact is a contributor in this case. The common enemy, if we want to call it that, is the lack of the understand of what mental illness is or isn't. We need to quit ignoring the fact that mental illness does exist and that it can happen to anyone. The STIGMA surrounding mental illness is one of the most important and overlooked roadblock to minimizing the risk of future incidents such as this one. The surrounding dialog about the possible causes give pause for thought about how what we say and do effectively feeds the dark thoughts of those who are mentally unstable. The more we feed the dark thoughts in these individual the the more they believe their twisted thinking. We essentially indirectly validate it. So my suggesting is that we need to be mindful of this fact when we choose to put something out there for the public to digest. I guess you could say that all of us are a little bit quilty of being naive about the impact some of these choices can have. I for one believe that just because we are free to do something does not make it ethically or morally healthy. The best chance we have to minimize this happening again is to address the core issue which is mental illness. Mental illness like cancer can be treated and some folks go into remission and sometimes, like cancer, it is fatal. Dawn Harward, Director, Suicide Survivors.info

Posted by dawnart on 01/20/2011 at 11:02 AM

Re: “Messina

The Right to Die

I am a survivor of suicide and I CARE! My husband of 30 years opted out of life in an effort to take control over the one thing he believe he had the ulitimate and final say over. I am here to tell you that his suffering and unhappiness did not end with his passing, but rather, it lives on in those of us he left behind. My youngest daughter said it was as if dad passed his pain onto us and it is true. Here we are 4 years later still suffering the fallout of this un natural disaster. I say un natural in the sense that it goes against what a normal reasoning and healthy brain would decide upon, unless you are a completely and truthfully self centered person who cares nothing for those they leave behind, which in most cases simply is not true.

In defense of the right to die; I believe that a person whose quality of life has been so severely compromised may very well have the right to die. What I do suggest is that those of us who have been left to grapple with their decision and live with their unmanaged pain is not a decision we made. So how does that work. Yes you have ultimate control over ending your life, but what about the lives of those you leave behind? Yeah, I know, you don't care, but do you have the right to take theirs too? Because this is exactly what happens. I don't suppose you consider yourself a murderer, but taking someone else's life is a crime rather or not you actually kill them. Most folks never fully recover and they live with the suicider's pain and frustration for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately survivors are punished for your crime against yourself by the stigma associated with suicide followed by being socially ostracized. Do you have that right?

Generally speaking I have compassion for those who struggle every day with suicidal ideation. I had the misfortune of living my husbands's dying. He wanted to live and he actually did consider the impact on those he left behind. He was not a selfish person but his need for relief from his suffering became the center of his life up until he completed. I also know that he had no idea in his twisted thinking just how much of his pain he would transfer onto those left behind. Suicide has a ripple effect and it leaves a wide swath of pain and un answered questions that torment the surviovor forever.

So, if you must end your life, then please be certain that those you leave behind understand that you are making a personal choice and that it is not about them. Be sure to let the police know that you did it to yourself so that your friends and family don't have to be under suspicion for murder and then don't leave your body for your friends wife or children to find.

Dawn Harward, CEO

Posted by dawnart on 06/03/2010 at 7:36 AM

Re: “Honoring Chelsie

My husband completed suicide after 27 years of marriage. We had the benefit of a full investigation by the police and while we got more information about the events leading up to his death,the information we recevied complicated our grief rather than relieved it. It is common for people to blame the partner or family of the victim. I am estranged from my husband's family because they want to believe that someone else besides their son is responsible for his death, nevermind we were 700 miles away when this happened. If anything is responsible for his death it was depression. The truth is: suicide oftens follows a precipitative event, however, the event is not the cause but rather the excuse to complete and 90 percent of suicide victims have an undiagnoised mental health issue. The problem with suicide is that the perpetrator is also the victim and it is very difficult for people to live with the fact that someone they loved opted out of life. If he had been murdered this entire senario would be different. Healing comes when you come to terms with the fact that you will never truly understand. The truth is having the gun handy was convient in this situation, but sad to say, it would not of necessarily prevented her suicide. I am sorry to hear of this families terrible loss and my thoughts are with them.
- Dawn Harward- www.suicidesurvivors.info located in Tucson and available on Facebook

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by dawnart on 05/06/2010 at 10:33 AM

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