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This past week many students took part in Suicide Awareness Week. Sadly, I know much more about this subject than I ever hoped I would.
Like all devastating subjects, suicide was at first, a foreign concept to me. Of course we learned about the causes and warning signs in my relationships class.
Then, like all messy things, its backlash came in waves.
In my first year of college, I learned that a high school friend had sadly taken his own life. The situation and manner of this act is still somewhat shrouded in mystery. A deeply unpleasant experience, this suicide was still at a comfortable arms length.
Just this last year, the unexplainable phenomenon happened again. This time a newly forged but hopeful friendship was silenced in a summer night. I remember being so puzzled by the sudden and unexpected knowledge that he wasn’t here anymore. His smile was so warm and he gushed over my sundress. I attended his memorial and intricately watched his close friends as they told endless stories of his passion, love and talent for great, big hugs.
Suicide leaves behind confused, hurt and regret-filled people, all wanting to know how they could have helped that person who felt so terribly and utterly lost.
One of the most human desires is to connect with one another but hopelessness prevents us from reaching out. It’s important that we remember those we have lost to isolation.
Happiness is an action and everything else a reaction. Reach out and take action to prevent yourself or anyone from falling into the slippery slope of depression that could lead to self-harm or suicide. Happiness is contagious, spread the infection today.
BY APRIL KNUTSON