By Chuck Strouse
By Scott Fishman
By Terrence McCoy
By Ryan Yousefi
By Ciara LaVelle, Kat Bein, Carolina Del Busto, and Liz Tracy
By Pepe Billete
By Ryan Yousefi
By Kyle Swenson
Young people, particularly teens, are most likely to leave suicide notes. And one of the most common themes for kids who too often felt alone or forgotten in life is the plea that someone remember them in death. When Emilio C., eighteen, hanged himself because of problems with his girlfriend, he wrote: "I still love you Babi, don't forget me too fast OK, OK!! And if you get, I mean when you get a boyfriend don't forget me Babi. I know you can't stay by yourself too long. You might say if I love you I would not do what I did. I look at myself and I did not like what I saw and I said you would not like me too. I just went mad." At the bottom of his note, he drew two childlike sketches of faces. One, representing his girlfriend, was smiling. The other, himself, was frowning and crying. Between the two faces he drew a broken heart. On another page he wrote: "To my friends, I could not wait to see my fate. Don't hate me."
Christopher A. wanted his father to remember him. He hadn't lived in Miami long; he moved to South Florida to stay with his father, who had hoped to curb some of his wilder ways. In Georgia, where he had lived with his mother, Christopher had been using drugs and breaking into cars and houses. But the eighteen-year-old continued to get into trouble here, and when his father caught him sniffing gasoline, he told the boy to pack his bags to go back to Georgia. Instead, Christopher loaded a gun and shot himself in the head.
"To my dad, I love you very much. I have always and now I'm going to my grave loving you. Please don't never forget me and the times we had but I have to do this. There's nothing for me nowhere. The stupid devil is probably laughing right now. So this is goodbye," Christopher wrote. He added a postscript, a piece of advice for his stepbrother. "Tell Felipe I said obey Rosa and don't try to act bad like I did. All that was my image. Just a front. I was just scared to let ya love me."
Certain teen suicides are striking in the starkest ways. Ruth L. was an eighteen-year-old who immigrated to the United States from Nicaragua. A child going through adult struggles with her boyfriend and parents, she hanged herself with her jump rope. She ended her note to her boyfriend: "Carry me inside your heart always, always...." It was signed: "Your doll, your Nica girl."
The youngest person to commit suicide in Dade during the past twelve months was a thirteen-year-old boy. Ashamed of his bed-wetting, he hanged himself with a wire coat hanger.
"This is to be read after my body has been discovered," began Bobbi B.'s final note, found after she ended her life in late December 1992. "I am completely sane and rational at this time, but I am extremely unhappy and depressed. I have thoroughly thought out what I am doing and it is the best choice. Since I can never again have a physically normal life, I'd rather not live. It hurts too much to watch other people have a full life while mine is so limited now. I actually am very jealous of people I see walking and exercising.
"It is too painful to do normal things like walking, dancing, playing tennis. I can't even go on a trip and go sightseeing. Going to work is very difficult. To just eat and watch TV is not my idea of living. I exist, I don't live. I can't even go to malls or singles functions. A beautiful day makes me think of all the things I can no longer do outside. I can never wear heels and feel feminine any more or professional-looking in business suits and heels. My self-image was very hurt. Even in flats, it is difficult and painful to walk.
"It is fortunate that there is no one who needs me or is reliant upon me. I am also grateful that my mother is not alive to see this entire situation take place. My life was such a waste. I always thought I'd die of old age, by normal causes, not by my own hand. This was the only method available to me. I could not obtain a firearm or sleeping pills. I hope to do this successfully and don't survive. I don't want to die, but I can't live like this, and, for me, it just wouldn't be worth it. If there were still hope of physical help for me, this would not be my choice. Since that isn't the case, it isn't worth waking up any more.
"I don't want to be buried in a shroud or in a pine coffin. Please dress me in my black dress with the large round black collar with the white trim on it. Please put on the pair of black leather heels with the round leather ornaments on the front of the shoes. I know that no one will ever really know how I feel. It is hard for someone else to walk in my shoes and feel my emotional and physical pain. I don't wish it on anyone else for it is too sad and terrible, but if people understood, they wouldn't judge me too harshly or think I'm particularly weak. I am not a weak person, generally speaking. But all I do is spend time and money on medical nonsense that doesn't achieve anything. And worst of all, I've gone through this nightmare alone. It is very difficult to endure and lose the war, but emotional support would have helped. I don't blame anyone, this is just the way it is, I just don't have a spouse or mother.