My blog has moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 6 seconds. If not, visit the page Planner's Thoughts at
and update your bookmarks.

Friday, November 27, 2009

A suicide in Chicago has lasting effects on witnesses

An article recently appeared in the Chicago Tribune on the effects of an anonymous suicide witnessed by simple passers-by...not even family members. These bystanders witnessed Cameron Watson leap from 17 stories in downtown Chicago in September, 2009.

These bystanders -- who came from around the country -- watched the local building maintenance worker die by his own decision, and it had a significant effect. It is frequently argued that suicide is a "victimless" crime (when it is even thought of as a crime). but however the event is characterized, it is not "victimless,"as noted in the article:

The raindrop hits the water, and the wave ripples out.

In Missouri, a hospital volunteer takes a deep breath when a patient snaps at her. You never know what someone might be going through, she tells herself. In the Detroit airport, a traveling businessman sees a soldier coming home from Iraq, wonders if he might need someone to listen, and offers to buy him a drink.

"You get back in your regular life, but there are definitely times where I think of him," said Jennifer Wirth, 41, a teacher in Milwaukee. "I have family members who deal with depression, and I just kind of keep that in my head, to remember to always reach out."
(Hat tip to Prof. Beyer for bringing this to my attention. He hosts the Wills, Trusts and Estates Prof. Blog)

No comments: