Skip to main content

suicide

Illustration by Anna Schuleit Haber

The Pardner

It has been a year and five days since Mayowa lost her daughter—lost, because she cannot say the other word: suicide. 

Illustration by Lauren Nassef

The Obituary

When reporting on suicide, the CDC advises against including the suicide method or overly positive descriptions of the deceased for fear of causing contagion. 

Which gave Reporter Jane a problem in reporting on how her dad did what he did. She can’t mention the means, so readers will be left to wonder:

Was it a gun? A rope? A razor? Pills? Poison? A train? A hair-dryer? 

And (according to the CDC), the mildly suicidal among them will begin to salivate.

Illustrations by Jen Renninger

Total Loss

Fire does not abide by reason. In its destructive trail, there are empty bank accounts, unreturned voice mails, FedExed checks, hours upon hours of smooth-jazz hold music, fine print written in inscrutable jargon, and the summary Laurie learned to say for expediency’s sake: “My house exploded in a catastrophic fire. Can you please help me?”

Illustration by Amy Friend

Late-Night Bloomers

Evelyn watched as Lawrence put the plastic bag over his head, snapped the terry-clothed elastic around his throat and affixed the tube to the helium tank beside him. She sat quietly, neither interrupting nor egging him on. She was simply there so th [...]

My Tears See More Than My Eyes: My Son’s Depression and the Power of Art

We parents signed in and entered the waiting area of the boys’ ward that doubled as a family room during visiting hours. We migrated to the far corners of the room, as far away as possible from one another, as if afraid of contagion. Maybe it was easier that way for us to think, “My kid is different from theirs; he isn’t really fucked up or suicidal, or violent; he’s just going through a rough patch, a phase.” We sat in silence, waiting for our sons; under bright fluorescent lighting that gave us all a sickly pallor, we looked anywhere but at each other; we looked at the rubber furniture, the grimly cheerful yellow walls, the message boards here and there scribbled over with institutional graffiti: goals for the day, prayers, bromides, warnings, rules. We were seeking some measure of privacy in a room whose every feature declared No Privacy Allowed.

 

Bullies

"I am not smart, I am not pretty." This is what Kiyoshi Toyoda's sister had written before leaping from the top of their twelve-story apartment building some time before dawn, leaving her body to be discovered by an old man on his early morning walk. Kiyoshi woke to the sudden commotion of wails and pounding feet, the heavy clang of their apartment door opening and slamming shut. They did not find the note until several hours later; Mai had propped it up on her desk, next to a box of tissues. She had been fifteen years old.