Joan Rivers' daughter Melissa spoke to OK! magazine in the wake of Mindy McCready's suicide. Melissa, whose father died by suicide when she was 18, said "for years, I felt like there was a big giant 'S' ... on my chest. I felt very stigmatized by it":
"For sure, I have abandonment issues. I think anyone who goes through a suicide has abandonment issues. Someone's choosing to not be there. Especially when it's a parent. Somewhere in your head, you always wonder, 'Was it me? Why wasn't I enough?' You have to play out all the 'what ifs?' and 'if onlies,' and then you must put them to rest, and not let it define who you are."KTVA TV reports on a vigil in Anchorage, Alaska for victims of suicide. Organizer Sarah Gunkel explained the meaning of the gathering:
"Today actually marks the eight-year anniversary of losing my father to suicide ... There is no shame in having a loved one who has taken there own life ... We can stand together and kind of support one another."
"Suicide touches every race, every economic status. Everyone is a potential suicide victim and every family a survivor. I know the pain of being on the survivor side."The Washington Post covers the story of a Virginia couple who, after their 15-year-old son died by suicide, are trying to change laws to make Facebook and other online information available to parents after a minor's death. "We were just grieving parents reaching out for anything we could," said, Ricky Rash, the boy's father. "Our issue with Facebook and social media is, we should have access." According to legislator David L. Bulova, co-sponsor of a bill in Virginia to address the issue,
"Any parent in this situation would want to find answers ... This is the 2013 equivalent of what you would store under your bed. Today, we store it on a server."Also see a Huffpost Live interview with Ricky Rash about parents' access to a child's online information after the child dies.
San Diego's ABC 10News TV interviews Robert Guzzo Sr., whose son Robert Jr. -- a Navy SEAL who had served in Iraq -- died by suicide on Veterans Day last year. Robert Sr. spoke of his son's reluctance to get help because he was afraid it would hurt his career:
"He did so much for his country, and not to be able to feel good enough to go and get the help that he justly deserves ... it hurts ... If I'm able to reach out and help one person and keep one person from going down the same road Rob did, it would be all worth it."The Great Falls Tribune in Montana has an article about Owen Robinson's role in helping a local hospice start a support group for survivors of suicide loss. After retiring in 2011, Owen recalled the difficulty he had experienced when his father died by suicide a decade earlier, and said he was determined to help others:
Robinson, whose father committed suicide in 2001, admits he was "a basket case" for years after. He sought out psychiatry services, but at the time, he said those services were lacking. Bereavement services for survivors of suicide were nonexistent. "I was disappointed by the lack of services," said Robinson, who for years ran Lumber Yard Supply, a fourth-generation business he took over from his father. He doesn't want other people to go through that.Finally, suicidologist Melinda Moore, a researcher at the University of Kentucky, writes in "Those Bereaved by Suicide Need Help" that "self-destructive behaviors, substance abuse, legal problems and child custody disputes" punctuated Mindy McCready's troubled life, "and the bottom seemed to drop out when her fiance ... died by apparent suicide last month." Melinda's empathy for McCready comes from her personal experience:
As the survivor of my own husband's suicide nearly 17 years ago, I know that it is one of the most painful experiences in life both emotionally and physically. The feelings of rejection and perception of being abandoned so publicly and unilaterally are almost unbearable. The judgment that others seem to project onto the act of your loved one -- and thrust onto you as their caregiver -- produce a shame and humiliation that are only dwarfed by the raw feelings of grief at their loss.