This I Believe

Katelyn - Indian Head Park, Illinois
Entered on September 8, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: death
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In the United States alone, a person falls victim to suicide every 18 minutes. “A suicide is

attempted every 43 seconds.” I believe that suicide is preventable. I believe that depression is an

illness that can be cured and that the world should try harder to minimize the rising number of

deaths from suicide. But most important, I believe that no one should have to bare the

intolerable pain and suffering that depression brings about.

A little over a year ago, my family received a phone call that would forever impact our

lives; a phone call that would force us to stop and acknowledge just how precious life is. That

day, I would have to brace myself for the tragic, unimaginable news that my cousin had taken her

life. When I was first told about the loss, I found it extremely difficult to react. I was perplexed at

the thought that one of my family members, merely 18-years-old at that, could have been so

miserable that she chose to end her life. At the same time, I became angry at myself for having

been completely oblivious to her agony and distress, angry that I was perfectly content with my

life, while she had been subjected to an inescapable feeling of hopelessness and anxiety.

The funeral came soon enough, along with the countless tears shed for this girl who

had been deprived of happiness and who would never be able to experience the joys in life. But

the turning point for me was when I received a copy of an essay that my cousin had written about

her experience with depression. Through reading this tear-jerking, heart-rending narrative, I grew

to learn about the kind of person she was, all the while regretting that I had never made a great

enough effort to get to know her. And although my mind is pervaded with boundless “what ifs”

and “how comes” about my cousin’s death, I know that she is finally at peace in a better


It does not take much to make a difference in someone’s life, something as simple as

communication can be the key to saving someone from themselves. So act with kindness and

show compassion to others, because you never know who’s life you may be saving. After all,

“we are all we really have in this world.”