This article was published in Fathom Magazine’s 23rd issue, “Death,” on November 19, 2018.
We are becoming far too familiar with the stranger of death.
There are some things that we should neither like nor accept. Death is such a thing. Yet, it feels like our society is becoming complacent toward death. And not just complacent—accepting, embracing even.
Nowhere is this more seen than in the discussion around suicide.
Data published this year shows that America’s suicide rate has risen by 25% in roughly twenty-five years. The reports come at a time when awareness and efforts to address depression, mental illness, and anxiety—some of the major factors leading toward suicide—are actually on the rise.
At the same time, the suicides of high profile individuals—Kate Spade, Robin Williams, Anthony Bourdain—seep into our collective consciousness—shining neon lights on what might be our next humanitarian crisis.