FEATURED COMMENT – Assumptions people make about suicide victims

Re:’ ROTHENBURGER – We’ve got to talk about suicide, but how?’

Very sorry for your loss. 😥 I too know what you have dealt with as my Husband committed suicide 3 yrs ago. We were married 28 yrs and I completely missed it..he was definitely going through something, but we never realized how deep he was.

Mental anguish is very painful, when someone passes after a long battle of cancer everyone says they fought a brave battle, when someone passes from suicide they automatically seem to assume they were something less than brave, and in my experience automatically assume they were drug addicts.

It’s because of those assumptions that survivors feel the need to explain. Not just “oh he died of cancer” the sympathetic looks immediately because they most likely endured a lot ot pain and death was a welcome relief. “Oh, he committed suicide ” no assumption of debilitating pain from mental anguish, body pain from anxiety…nothing, just assumptions of addictions or worse…

“How could they do that? What a coward!” Yes I’ve had that comment right to my face! DONT EVER SAY THAT PEOPLE! Or not knowing what to say so it becomes extremely uncomfortable, and people avoid you.

It’s not really their fault, I didnt realize until I was walking a mile in their shoes, that I did the same…that’s why we need to remove the stigma surrounding suicide. Thank you for sharing your very personal experience.


About Mel Rothenburger (8419 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

1 Comment on FEATURED COMMENT – Assumptions people make about suicide victims

  1. Arleen Simmonds // March 15, 2019 at 10:05 AM // Reply

    The Reverend Norman Vincent Peale shared this many years ago.

    A few days ago, when a young man died by his own had, a service for him was conducted by his pastor, the Rev. Warren Stevens. What he said that day expresses, far more eloquently than I can, the message that I’m trying to convey. Here are some of his words:

    ‘Our friend died on his own battlefield. He was killed in action fighting a civil war. He fought against adversaries that were as real to him as his casket is real to us. They were powerful adversaries. They took toll of his energies and endurance. They exhausted the last vestiges of his courage and strength. At last these adversaries overwhelmed him. And it appeared that he lost the war. But did he? I see a host of victories that he has won!

    For one thing — he has won our admiration — because even if he lost the war, we give him credit for his bravery on the battlefield. And we give him credit for the courage and pride and hope that he used as his weapons as long as he could. We shall remember not his death, but his daily victories gained through his kindnesses and thoughtfulness, through his love for family and friends, for animals and books and music, for all things beautiful, lovely and honorable. We shall remember the many days that he was victorious over overwhelming odds. We shall remember not the years we thought he had left, but the intensity with which he lived the years he had!

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