Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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Christina Brown: Column on suicide gives far-reaching comfort

To the editor:

I just wanted to write and state how much I truly appreciated Laurie Loisel’s column about her father’s suicide and her family’s decision to tell the truth about it (“One family’s decision to tell the truth about suicide,” Gazette, March 9). While I wish this piece wasn’t personally relevant, I cannot believe the timing: My own father committed suicide on March 1.

My heart goes out to Ms. Loisel and her family, and I would just like to pass along my thanks to her for writing such an honest and open account about what is often a very secretive event. The part regarding her sister’s proclamation that the family members will not be ashamed was very touching to me, as anger and shame were the two strongest emotions that I experienced that day. I should add that I work as a psychologist, so it is not unusual for me to deal with people’s thoughts of suicide regularly, and I was very ashamed to realize that I missed such signs in my own father.

I really connected with the following statement: “The truth is a hard, unmovable object. But without it, it’s impossible to get your bearings. Without the truth, there’s no true comfort from others.”

Ms. Loisel’s willingness to tell the truth and seek true comfort from others has also afforded comfort to others, such as myself. And for that, I am very thankful to her and to her family.

Christina Brown

Phoenix, Ariz.

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