Letters from the Issue of September 17, 2009

After the Fall

Be strong: It's sad to read about people taking their own lives ("Legends of the Fall," Natalie O'Neill, September 10). Many suffer from feelings of loneliness and emptiness. How does one fill that emptiness? I wish I knew the answer. For years, I too have struggled with that empty feeling, the feeling of not having accomplished certain personal goals. That empty feeling eats away at one's soul. One has to be strong not to do something as extreme as killing oneself. I guess some of us are better than others at handling certain problems.



suicide by jumping



Coroner, help this man: My wife heard from a relative that her uncle had jumped to his death. Distraught, she asked me to find out what had happened. I called the medical examiner and was simply told he had died of "blunt force trauma." There was no explanation. My father-in-law knows nothing of this, nor did we. Your article filled in a lot of holes, but we still do not really understand why.




Dumb free weekly: Did you at New Times know that September 6 through 12, when you published this piece, was Suicide Prevention Week? Did it occur to you to print the phone numbers, email addresses, and URLs of suicide prevention organizations? I got the impression this article, like so many in New Times, was written to satisfy some perverse appetite. This story is simply a blotter list of suicides by jumping.


Via web commentary


Smart citizen: If you are having thoughts of suicide or are worried about someone you know, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or visit suicidepreventionlifeline.org. Visit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's website, afsp.org, to learn about the risk factors and what to do if you are worried about someone you love; click "About Suicide." Survivors of suicide loss can find resources for healing by clicking "Surviving Suicide Loss."

Rebecca Thorp

Via web commentary


Citizen who needs help: I have tried suicide twice, and both times it was with pills.

I cannot even fathom the thought of jumping, but I understand the desperation one feels when one wants to die. The physical and emotional pain is unbearable and can't be quieted by any amount of medication. I was diagnosed with clinical depression and have been obsessed with death for as long as I can remember.

Family and friends never see the "symptoms" and unfortunately are left with more questions than answers. I fight the urge every day and have God to lean on. But depression or any mental disorder is not something one can control. One can only hope it doesn't take over.


Richmond, Virginia


Lawyer-like citizen: These tall buildings are, in legalese, an attractive nuisance. Besides their negative impact on the environment, such as leaving the dunes and coral reefs in the shade, they attract people who do dangerous things, like jumping to their deaths.

For the public good, high-rises should be phased out, like the godawful trailer parks that disintegrate into shrapnel during strong hurricanes.

I was born with a natural, healthy fear of heights, including things falling from them onto me. Let those who would jump have to go somewhere far away for that.

Bob Dagit

Via web commentary


To Hell with Health Care

Listen up, Barack: I believe we all deserve a second chance. As described in "He Can't Come Home Again" (Sandra Hernandez, September 10), the man deported to Haiti, David Gerbier, has children. They should not be denied a father, especially when this man has the OK to return to the United States. What are authorities waiting for? For him to die so his kids will never get to know him? It is sad that President Obama has not intervened like President Clinton did in the case of the two American journalists in North Korea. Please, someone help this man before his health gets any worse.




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