About 20 years ago, I came across a woman online named Laurie who claimed to be an advocate for children. I followed her website hoping to learn something, but as the years went by, her claims got weirder and weirder and I strayed away. We had been in contact a few times, including when she adopted an 11 year old boy from the foster care system. I told her congratulations, and that he looked like her. He really did. She responded that they get that a lot. Laurie went on to be against any kind of psychiatric help, counseling, therapy, or anything of the sort. Really not a good idea when you adopt an 11 year old from the system. She wrote a book called Instead of Medicating and Punishing. I had honestly forgotten about her until I learned that her son had committed suicide. You can see how vehemently anti "getting help" Laurie was by scrolling her YouTube channel. There are disturbing videos featuring her with her son while he was still a minor, re-enacting therapy sessions and mocking them. I was blasted on social media for saying I was sorry he was gone too soon and that he never received the help he needed. Several people called me out for saying that, but it's how I felt. He might still be alive today if he was raised differently. As grief-stricken as Laurie is, part of his blood really is on her head, and that's how I feel. I see so many elderly people guilting their children about how they won't be alive for long, but when a parent looses a child, sometimes it seems more to be about the parents' loss than the child's loss of their lives and themselves.
Then, a few days later, I read the news that the son of Radio DJ Delilah had committed suicide. She didn't say how old he was, but he looks to me like a teenager. Delilah's show is syndicated nationwide, and she takes requests for sappy love songs. I used to like her, but in the past few years, she's tended to get on my nerves a little (ok, a lot). I'd often listen to a few words of hers while driving and then angrily punch another button on the dial and say, "Oh shut up, Delilah." However, I am still sorry she lost her child. Delilah, unlike Laurie, had gotten her son everything he needed to battle depression, but still lost him in the end. Then this- in the comment sections, people are blaming her for his death, because she was married 4 times and had a total of 13 kids. Really? But no one is allowed to blame Laurie? Both of my ex-husband's parents are on their third marriages, and he never killed himself. I had an aunt married 3 times, and her son from the first marriage never killed himself, even when he lost his only son to a heart defect. Marriage and childbearing/adoption history has nothing to do with the choice a person makes to end their lives. People in the comments even had the balls to tell Delilah that her son went to hell.
And what really burns me is that people think posting the national suicide hotline number will magically solve everything. No, it's way more complicated than that. The answer is different for every person. Share the hotline all you want, but never think it ends there. It's more complicated than that, and you have to know the person over and above your own ideals to really get them their own unique help.