I met him in July 2000.
He is a very beautiful man with a beautiful, dark brown complexion. He is 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighs 145pounds. His teeth shine brightly from the gold that covers them.
On Christmas day, he committed suicide.
I found out about his death earlier this month. He was laid to rest on Jan. 4, yet I still haven’t grasped the fact that he’s gone. Where was I when he took his last breath? Why did it take so long for me to find out he was gone?
I’m still at a loss as to why he took his life. I play the scene over and over in my mind, thinking that he tried to contact me in some way to talk.
Out of nowhere, I see him holding a gun to his chest, right in front of his heart. He’s crying hysterically, slowly pulling the trigger.
Gasping for breath, he falls to the floor. His eyes never close…he dies instantly.
I remember attempting suicide in March 2002. I assumed it would bring an end to all my problems. I realize now that suicide is not an answer to any problem.
Some people are not as lucky. The suicide rate for teens and young adults has increased dramatically in the past 30 years. According to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, more people die from suicide than from homicide. Suicide is the third leading cause of death for young people ages 15-24.
In 1999, the Surgeon General determined that certain ethnic groups were at a higher risk for committing suicide. The suicide rate among African- Americans has more than doubled since the 1970s. Suicide rates among Hispanics have also dramatically increased. Overall, young Native-Americans have the highest suicide rates.
Please don’t think someone is joking when they say, “I hate life” or “I want to die.” Take them seriously and make sure that person seeks help.
If you or someone you know is thinking of, or has attempted suicide, please call the Center for Human Development at 599-3145. There are professionals located on campus to help students in their time of need.
Please, call today.
Erica M. Dickens, 21, is a senior social work student from Miami, Fla. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.