When it comes to reporting of suicides, I’m pretty old-school. If people die by their own hand, I’m of the opinion that we use the old euphemisms like “there were no suspicious circumstances” and so on.
That’s no longer a popular opinion.
These days, when there’s a suicide it is reported on in great detail. Especially in the case of celebrities we know (whether we wish to or not) how they decided to take their lives, why they might have done it, and if we’re very unlucky we get the note that was left behind. Thousands of articles are written, linking the person to the cultural zeitgeist. The bell begins to toll for us.
The genie is out of the bottle, but the old rules were there for a reason. I have Facebook. I have young friends and family. And too many this week are lamenting the very recent suicides of their close friends and family. Too often this past week I have seen people say “well if person X couldn’t hack it, what chance is there for me?”
The genie is out. That doesn’t mean we all have to keep rubbing the bottle.