Some funerals at funeral homes in Horseheads, NY may be the result of someone taking their own lives. Yet often these deaths are shrouded in code phrases that explain the death as sudden or unexpected.
Suicides in the United States have increased 33% since 1999. Because we as a nation are still reluctant to talk about suicide and many people believe that suicides are acts of selfishness or acts of cowardice, we skirt the issue, which is a growing concern, so that we don’t have to deal with the inevitable questions that arise when suicides are brought out into the open.
There is no single cause for suicides. While some suicides are related to mental health issues, many suicides are not.
Young children and teenagers, for instance, who commit suicide are often the targets of real life bullying or cyberbullying, and they hit a point where they don’t know how else to make it stop but to take their own lives. In most of these cases, these kids can’t think far enough ahead to think of the permanence of death: that middle school and high school won’t last forever and neither will the bullying. All they can see is the pain and torment they are experiencing right now.
Some adults commit suicide as an act of despair. They may be dealing with job losses, financial losses, or family breakups, and as they watch the world they worked so hard to build crumble around them, they reaching a breaking point where it seems pointless to keep living. In that moment, they make the decision to end their lives instead of waiting out – which admittedly is very hard when the bottom drops out of your life – the sudden urgent desire to stop the pain.
Until recently, suicide is the cause of death was rarely mentioned and obituaries. However, families are beginning to be honest about the cause of death if it was suicide in the obituaries of their loved ones.
When Dr. Paula Sandler committed suicide in 2015, her family began her obituary this way: “Dr. Paula Margery Sandler, 62, died at home in Memphis on April 20, 2015, of suicide. We ask that you open your heart and offer compassion without judgment for those that suffer from illness rooted in stigma, trauma or shame; this was how Dr. Sandler practiced medicine. Sadly, she succumbed to severe depression, leaving behind bereaved friends, patients and colleagues.”
This obituary is an example of the trend toward removing the taboo and stigma surrounding suicide that has shrouded many deaths in mystery in the past. The reason that people are doing this is because they want people to know that suicide happens. It happens to wealthy people. It happens to successful people. It happens to children. Suicide is no respecter of persons.
By raising the awareness of suicide, these families who have lost loved ones who took their own lives are hoping to get help for or save others. One of the most common things that people will say after they find out that someone took their own life is, “I didn’t know anything was wrong.”
Sometimes, this is because other people aren’t paying attention, which sadly we can all be guilty of from time to time. Other times, the person who committed suicide simply put on a mask to hide the turmoil and pain they were feeling inside.
For information on funerals at funeral homes in Horseheads, NY, our sympathetic and experienced staff at Roberts Funeral Home is available to help. You can come to our funeral home at 279 Main St., Wellsburg, NY 14894, or you can contact us today at (607) 734-7811.