Writer Amy Marlow was 16 when a math teacher asked her off-handedly about her father’s suicide. It happened in class, in front of 26 other students, when Amy came up to his desk to ask how to solve an equation.
The conversation turned briefly to a question about where Amy would be singing that evening, at a church where a member had died by suicide two years previously.
“That guy who killed himself–didn’t he go to church there?” the teacher asked.
Marlow writes about this powerfully in The Mighty. She writes about the pain of being asked asked a callous question in front of her fellow students, and the humiliation it brought.
But she also writes about how the coldness of the question–and the failure of the teacher to understand how many of us are caught up in pain and loss when a family member or friend dies by suicide–turned her away from shame, and toward talking openly about suicide. About facing the grief, and helping other people to address it with compassion.
If you’re curious about her work, you can find her at BlueLightBlue.
She writes about her father, and the consequences of her conversation with her math teacher, here.