One year ago, January 27, a fourth-year university student was found dead in his car.
He had shot himself.
He was “the guy,” everyone’s friend, and wherever he was is where everyone else wanted to be. He was a son and a brother, and was very close to his family.
The most repeated saying at his house the next morning was “I can’t believe it… I’m so surprised.”
I, however, was extremely saddened by this and a day has not gone by since then that I do not think of him.
But I also knew that behind closed doors, he had deep sorrows that he did not share with anyone outside his immediate family and closest of friends. In fact, he had attempted suicide a couple of times prior to his last and successful attempt, but no one knew this as he had successfully hidden his troubles day after day.
His father had passed away when he was 11 years old, right in front of him.
He missed his dad desperately and could not help but want to be reunited with him, and when that seemed too long, he took the matter into his own hands.
This is merely one example of what happens every single day in Canada and around the world. Loved ones take their own lives, often to the surprise of everyone who knew them, but in a few cases not to anyone’s surprise at all.
Suicide is one of the most prominent killers of people our age, and yet it is one of the least talked about events; a taboo subject that makes people uncomfortable due to its seemingly mysterious causes.
I am sick of the taboo nature surrounding this subject as I learn every day that numerous people I encounter are dealing with suicide in some aspect of their daily lives: a loved one has committed it, attempted it, and or talked about it. In memory of a lifelong friend, I was inspired to bring awareness to this university, wherein I feel there is a strong need for such awareness, and in cooperation with UNB counselling services, I am happy to announce that there will be a Suicide Awareness Peer Group session being offered Thursday evenings beginning on Feb. 4 at 7 p.m. in the Holy Cross conference room. Please feel free to come if you have been affected by suicide in any way, and together let’s take a stand against the taboo surrounding suicide so that we may heal our hearts.
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