I'm Sick of Reading Obituaries
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Health and Wellness

I'm Sick of Reading Obituaries

"TWLOHA has saved countless lives. I wish hers could have been one."

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I'm Sick of Reading Obituaries
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I'm the last couple of weeks, I've seen two obituaries on my Facebook feed that really caught my attention. Two young women I had known, two young women I respected and looked up to, passed away within a week of each other. What the first young lady passed from, no one will confirm. But the cause of the death of the second is known: suicide. "In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider making a donation to the organization To Write Love on Her Arms, a non-profit dedicated to providing hope for those who struggle with depression, addiction and self-harm." The closing line of her obituary. TWLOHA has saved countless lives. I wish hers could have been one.

I wish I could say this was an isolated case (or isolated cases). I wish I could say I only knew a couple of people who have taken their lives, who have been affected by a loved one committing suicide. I wish this were something that was not widespread, that this was an anomaly, that this case was an outlier.

But I would be lying.

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/suicide/index.shtml

Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death overall in the U.S. It's the third leading cause of death among those aged 10-14 and second leading cause in those aged 15-34. Let that sink in. The third leading cause of death among those between the ages of ten and fourteen years old. Ten. And fourteen. Just children, who already believed that nothing could improve for them. If that doesn't break your heart enough, suicide is the second leading cause of death between those aged 15-34. My age range. College students and young adults, just starting out in a world that they believed had no place for them.

The stats are well-understood, well-known, but that hasn't stopped them from getting worse in recent years. Suicide rates have skyrocketed in recent years, especially among the younger generation.

More and more, I've seen tributes on my friend's Facebooks for friends taken too soon by this epidemic. I see their sadness and hurt and anger and pain and confusion. I feel it too. I feel angry that mental health and depression and self-injury and suicide are not issues that are taken seriously until it is too late. I'm tired of having to fight this fight, of feeling like I'm yelling at a wall because no one is listening.

At the end of the millennium, the AIDS epidemic created the Lost Generation, a generation in which many men were lost because a blind eye was turned to their suffering. I'm afraid that I am living through a new kind of Lost Generation. A generation lost to their own suffering, lost to the world, lost to hope, to life, to love. A generation that simply cannot handle it anymore.

It's on us to break this trend. We all have an obligation to speak up and speak out on issues like this, issues that affect us all. We have a duty to save lives by encouraging those around us to get the help they need, to talk to someone, to think of just one reason they need to be around tomorrow. We all could stand to think like that a little more. Remind those around you why you need them to be here for as long as possible. Remind people that they matter, that everyone is important, that their story needs to be heard.

"Even when the dark comes crashing through, when you need a friend to carry you, and when you're broken on the ground: you will be found."

I'm sick of reading obituaries for those close to me. I'm sick of their picture in the paper being a senior class picture. I'm sick of reading obituaries that could have been avoided if someone had just spoken up.


In memory of Talia Vara and Jess McEwen. Talia, thank you for the time we got to spend together in speech league. You will be missed by all, but not more than by Leo. Jess, our Swimmy, you were our light in the darkness, and I am profoundly sorry that you could not find that light for yourself. Thank you for choosing to spend your summers at Camp with us. We're all better for it.


If you are in crisis, call the toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The service is available to anyone. All calls are confidential. http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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