November of the Soul, suicide survivors

Even the people closest to the survivor are often eager to pretend the suicide never happened. Families may shut down; friends may keep their distance. The night after they found their nineteen-year-old son’s body hanging in their vacation house, one couple had dinner with their closest friends. They had accepted the invitation weeks before, and despite the shock of their son’s death, they decided it might be comforting to be with the people who knew them best. When they arrived at their friends’ home, their hosts said “Hi, how are you, how have you been?” They took their coats, poured them cocktails, served them dinner, chatted about the weather, sports, and politics, served them dessert, got their coats for them, wished them good-night, and shut the door. The entire evening had passed without a single mention of the boy’s death. The friends were afraid to bring it up; the survivors didn’t bring it up because they were waiting for their friends to bring it up. Neither couple thought of anything but the suicide

– George Howe Colt, from November of the Soul: The Enigma of Suicide p.476.

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About Bryan Cebulski

Historian, critic, author. Undercover queer. Aspiring P&C adventure protagonist. Collects bad habits like Jessica Rabbit.
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