I need to make a brief, yet agonizing, departure from the usual topics discussed on Media and Mayhem, especially directed at all my current and former (and perhaps future) students at Hunter College. And I need, for the first time since I began doing this blog for students, to request that you consider the following a required assignment.
Sometime in the last two days, a 21 year woman – a friend of my daughter’s – committed suicide. I can’t tell you her name, but — to avoid any unnecessary concern on campus – I can say that she did not live in New York and is not a Hunter student. As I scramble to come to terms with this, there is something very important I wanted to say.
I know that humans and human relationships defy easy categorization or diagnoses. We may share traits with others, but each of us has a unique narrative, and those narratives are packed with unique dreams, hopes, fears, pain, and more. That is why I am always reluctant to make any blanket statement about what others should do or feel in complex circumstances that I have neither lived nor felt.
So this time I am going to make a simple request. Please read this page on the web site of the National Mental Health Association. NMHA is one of the best of many extraordinary organizations devoted to helping young people and others contemplating suicide.
And think for a moment, if you will, about a young, precious soul who — even in her unbearable pain and hopelessness — should not have had to choose this ending.