I think that a lot of us can agree that after hearing the news of Robin Williams’ passing yesterday, we felt like we had lost a life long friend. Right before bed, I saw this horrible tweet, in which Robin Williams was tagged, that he was weak-minded, selfish, a loser, etc. because he committed suicide. Then I got on Facebook and saw the same sentiments from a Facebook friend.
This made me physically sick. Regardless of your thoughts on suicide, posting something like that is tasteless. My heart hurts for my cousin, who lost her mother to suicide, and the families and friends of those who have lost loved ones in the same way. Having to see ugly things like that posted cannot make a hard situation any easier, regardless of how much time may have passed.
When my aunt committed suicide, I was amazed at how quiet things were kept. My dad got the call while we were at lunch with one of his co-workers, and he told me that my aunt had been in an accident. I watched the news that night, waiting to see coverage of what I thought was a wreck. My mom finally explained to me what was going on. My aunt had a military funeral, and it was one of the most beautiful and grand things I have ever seen in my life. (How someone could call a soldier of our country a coward is beyond me.) I will never forget us discussing suicide in my seventh grade class, because it was a few months after I lost my aunt, and I didn’t utter a word about how it had affected my family or myself. I even had qualms about discussing it in this blog post. But I am, because I want to help break the suicide stigma.
I don’t expect the world to be a politically correct place. But I do think it would be nice if people thought before they posted things that could be especially hurtful to people. Suicide is not a joke, and there is no reason to be offensive about it. I doubt that people would be verbally broadcasting their views on suicide. (And if you do, please stay away from me, because it will probably take everything that I have in me not to punch you square in the jaw.)
If you are at a point in your life where you are contemplating ending your own life, please reach out to someone you trust. Sometimes talking to a stranger is easier than talking to someone you know; if that is the case, please call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. If you live outside of America, here is a list of numbers for different countries.
If anyone ever needs someone to talk to, I’m here. And I mean that.