the lesser of two evils.

the lesser of two evils.

The following is an excerpt from Questions Asked by Teens About Suicide & Ideas for Appropriate Responses:

What is an appropriate memorial to a suicide victim?

“The most appropriate memorial is a living one such as contributions to support suicide prevention. The American Association of Suicidology cautions that permanent markers or memorials such as plaques or trees planted in memory of the deceased dramatize and glorify their actions. Special pages in yearbooks or or school activities dedicated to the suicide victim are also not recommended.”

I completely understand the concern here. Anyone who is vulnerable may take their life, too. It’s called “copy cat suicide”.

Yet, I think it’s important to allow people to grieve in a way that helps. Especially teenagers. They are still here and the memory of their friend or classmate will be with them forever.

Additionally, the family of the one who took their life is already suffering. To take this approach isolates the family and they suffer more.

I know suicide is a very, very difficult situation. Everyone is hurting.

I also know allowing people to grieve through remembering the one who died is important.

We try to control what we don’t understand. Sometimes, we make it worse.

Which is the lesser of two evils: another suicide or the remaining loved ones feeling isolated and shunned? Does one person have more value than the other?

I see nothing wrong with a yearbook page or plaque. It’s a simple gesture to remember a valuable life.  Without allowing something tangible to remember, it makes that life unimportant.

People who took their life were either hurting and unable to see beyond the moment and/or there was a physical imbalance creating mental illness.

How can we not have compassion for that? It is not compassionate to try and sweep it under the rug. And that is what it is when you deny someone the ability to create a memorial.


5 thoughts on “the lesser of two evils.

  1. I completely agree with you, Kathleen. My understanding after going through this horrific tragedy is this kind of death is not preventable in people who intend to die this way for the reasons you stated. It is the disturbing result of something deeper that science has yet to realize completely, I have learned that it is just another way of dying. Families whose loved one (s) have died this way should not be shunned as they were in the Dark Ages for religious reasons. All should be reminded that our loved one lived and had a purpose and that the way they died did not define who they were but that they had a terminal condition probably unknown even to themselves.

    1. God showed me so much those days following Christopher’s death. Just him and me, you know? One thing was God knew the day he was born how it would end. And his grace covered Chris from beginning to end.

      1. Yes, God knew ahead of time and we were blessed with these wonderful sons by our Father who gifted us, knowing our love for them was unconditional. His grace is sufficient.

  2. Great piece, I would never know what to do in that situation. Hoping I never have to use them, this was very helpful. Thanks.

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