Remembering Those Lost to Suicide: Readers Share on Pinterest

Published on
June 9, 2012

suicide, mental health, deborah petersen, reporting on healthWith the Walk Out of Darkness Overnight sponsored by the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention being held in San Francisco June 8-9, we decided to ask people of the San Jose Mercury News to share their stories of losing a loved one to suicide. We wanted to know who they would be walking in memory of.

The readers sent in a photograph of the person, and in a paragraph told us a story about them. The result was a moving collection of stories, which were intended to raise awareness of suicide, help others who have lost loved ones. It also seems to have helped the people themselves in their healing in some slight way. The photographs depict people from age 15 through 55, and in one case include a woman who lost both her parents to suicide.

The readers thanked us for being able to share these stories, which too often do not get told. This is especially true since many media outlets do not report suicides on a regular basis. Families, too, sometimes experience a mix of confusing emotions, including guilt.

I know this from when my husband lost one of his best friends to suicide. My husband felt a wide range of feelings about it during his grieving. We hope this project will continue to help people. This is the Pinterest board.

Double clicking on any photograph will lead to the San Jose Mercury News website, where people can submit their photographs and read the story by Matthias Gafni which led to this idea.  Soon, a slideshow of the stories will also be added to the website. 

This is the story by Matthias Gaffni which led us to doing the project.

Related Posts:

Reporting on Suicide: We Can Do Better

The stigma question: Interviewing "Real Faces" Behind Mental Illness

Photo credit: Dawn Humphrey via Flickr