This is a variation and update of a column I wrote last year when two prominent radio hosts and motivational speakers committed suicide. Unfortunately, it is again relevant to the news.
It used to be when I would give speeches for victims’ rights organizations or homicide survivor groups, I would begin with this observation:
While all deaths are tragic, there is one type of death that is more tragic than all the others, and that is murder. In virtually all other deaths in our society, the individual is surrounded by a support system of some sort, whether it is family and friends, doctors and nurses, police, fire or EMT personnel, or selected others. Only in murder cases is the individual alone, bereft of friends, hope or comfort, terrified and often in pain.
After one such presentation in southern Virginia, a woman came up to me and stated she was moved by what I had said, but there was another type of death that fulfilled the same grim criteria.
And that was suicide.