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This morning I found out a dear friend lost her young niece by suicide: the permanent solution to a temporary problem.

If you are at all sensitive, perceptive, or empathetic, this world seems very cruel because you are keenly aware of suffering and inequality.  Most of us do not have the power to easily alleviate suffering or correct inequality.  It leads to a state of impotent frustration.

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R.I.P. Mikey

There is one less homeless person in Montreal since the “homeless census” in March. Sometime last week, Mikey died after falling near the 405/211 bus stop at Lionel Groulx.

I only know him as Mikey. I don’t know if his name was Michel or Michael or Mitch, or if he was French or English. Depending who you ask, he was 26 or 28. He was a handsome, tall, white boy reminiscent of Val Kilmer with a teardrop tattoo under the outside of his left eye. Continue reading

Memento Mori

When I was taking courses for my DEC in Special Ed (Adult Ed night classes downtown), we learned about suicide.  Which methods each gender tried, each age group tried. And the repercussions.  Many people that jumped – if they survived, they essentially made themselves dependent disabled people for life.  We heard about metro drivers, and how devastating it is to hit a person. Suicide by cop. There are so many many repercussions.

©2000 Marion Pennell

©2000 Marion Pennell

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Thanks Clara Hughes

Thank you Clara Hughes, the Olympian, for opening up frank and honest dialogue about mental illness in Clara’s Big Ride around our country.

In the late 1990s, the last time I was suicidal, I also went through a period of unemployment during which I assigned myself tasks each day, however small, to get me to do something.  One day I memorized Hamlet’s soliloquy, which seemed apt, since it is a rumination on suicide.  I read it all, but felt it summed up the arguments, pro and con, in just these stanzas, so that is what I memorized, and play in my head, as required. Continue reading