A letter

A discussion of any suicide issue or grief topic that don't fit elsewhere.

A letter

Postby cali » Tue Feb 12, 2013 12:24 am

I wrote a letter to Democracy Now! asking Amy Goodman to consider changing her language around suicide. This was after hearing her use the word "committed" several times in two different interviews, one about the life and death of Aaron Swartz, and another about a movie coming out about the Hemingway family. I received a positive response.

It felt good to to this. I encourage others to contact the media about their use of language around the discussion and reporting of suicide deaths if it feels right. It might be one way to make a difference.
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Re: A letter

Postby crisa » Tue Feb 12, 2013 2:37 am

Hi sweet Cali! Awhile back on this forum we had it brought up up about the word "commited." I remember others coming up with other words for it, how would you pharse it? I, very much welcome your suggestion, as I work to help people who are survivors of suicide, not just as a moderator on this forum, but in my personal life as well, and especially now! Maybe just saying that person suicided? I don't know, I want to hear your opinion to not offend survivors! I am going to join a group that actually started in my city, LOSS, to be on call to survivors when they lose someone they love to suicide, to go to them and offer them references immediately! So how you feel about phrasing this type of loss is important to me! Actually, I have just spent hours with one of my best friends talking about our friend, co-worker, who just lost her best friend, and found her, to suicide!
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Re: A letter

Postby cali » Tue Feb 12, 2013 3:48 am

Hi Crisa!

Wow, I think what you are doing is awesome! You are really brave and inspiring doing such important work.

Thanks so much for asking. I feel most comfortable with "died of suicide". When I sometimes find myself saying that someone "suicided," I feel a little like I'm taking the easy way, to not make anyone need to consider that there could be a real lack of choice, just like any other illness. Yes, they might have made better life choices and lived healthier, but that can also be said of many people who die of heart disease or cancer. Sometimes they made very good choices and lived very well though, and they were still struck down. So "suicided" for me is a non engaging word that let's people keep their own perspectives, which is not necessarily a negative thing, but I think it's also good to use language that encourages people to see a different perspective. I also think that the perspective of suicide as a result of an illness rather than a true choice can be very comforting for someone with a recent loss who is struggling with all of the judgements flying around and can't find the "why"
It is so good to hear your voice Crisa! Thank you for helping others. I wish you much growth and healing through this. We all need more people like you in this world.
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Re: A letter

Postby Beloved1 » Tue Feb 12, 2013 8:09 am

Yes! Thank you! Yesterday, to get over my angst, I experimented with dinner and put some thyme in my salad dressing. WHAT? And I realized that there are more flavors than sweetness, sourness, saltiness, bitterness, and umami. Umami is what beans taste like if you are a vegetarian and don't eat meat which is umami. With thyme there is floral that involves your sense of smell. The thyme has come to see lots of things differently.
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Re: A letter

Postby Suzanne » Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:11 am

Hi Cali and Crisa,

In one of the gazillion things I read right after Dave's death, the author suggested using the words "completed suicide" which I have used since then. Many people are surprised to hear it phrased that way and ask me about it which has led to some very important and enlightening conversations with friends and acquaintances. I like the fact that the way it is phrased has helped keep me talk about suicide, opening the door to making it something other than a failure on Dave's part.

Suzanne
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Re: A letter

Postby cali » Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:13 pm

Hi Suzanne, I think "completed" is also very valid, especially if the person had been struggling with or battling against suicidal ideation for a long time. It does strike me as an invitation to in depth conversations, so I guess I'd need to feel ready to have them with who ever I'm speaking with. There sadly seem to be so many paths that lead to suicide, we need many ways to describe it.
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Re: A letter

Postby samwong » Wed Feb 13, 2013 3:26 am

Hi Cali,

Great. In my country i wrote several email to my member of parliment and none of them reply.

I wrote to the newspaper demanding media should not always telecast tv program that depicting sucide scene and was showed a cold shoulder.

What a country i lived in!
I LOVE MY MUM! SEE YOU IN HEAVEN WHEN MY TIME HAS COME.
GOD, Please show your loves to all.
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Re: A letter

Postby lainie » Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:42 am

Hi Sam...good to hear from you...how is your baby girl? Love and peace to you,

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Re: A letter

Postby psyquestor » Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:48 am

I say that my son died by suicide. I don't care for committed or completed suicide. Completed to me seems like a task he had and that just strikes me cold across the face. I have learned to be more accepting of the media and am glad to see any discussion about this epidemic; no matter how they "say it." Small steps.

I didn't understand any of the food analogies, but that's probably just me. I've been at the hospital with my daughter the past few days and living out of a coffee cup.
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I thought I would lay down and die after losing my Son to suicide.
Instead I chose to fight the monster that killed him.
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Re: A letter

Postby lainie » Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:02 am

I also do not care for "committed suicide". when I am asked I say my son became very Ill and died. If I care to share how he died I tell them that he took his own life. He had a chemical imbalance of the brain and had no rational thinking
Or memory at the time.

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