Dealing with suicide

Woman confronts how depression “lies” in obituary for her sister

Eleni Pinnow (R) and her sister, Aletha. (photo via Facebook)

Eleni Pinnow, an associate professor at the University of Wisconsin-Superior, has written an obituary for her sister, Aletha, who died of depression and suicide, in order to remind people struggling with depression to trust their loved ones, and to remember that the negative feelings typical of the disorder should not be trusted. When Aletha — who Eleni describes as “hilarious, kind, generous, helpful, silly and loving” — committed suicide on February 20th, she left a note on the door for her sister, warning her not to enter and to call 911 instead. “Even in the midst of consuming depression,” Eleni writes, “Aletha tried to protect me from the full horror of her suicide.”

Eleni feels that “depression lied to [her] sister… preventing the love of her friends, her family, and any sense of comfort and confidence from reaching her.” In the notes Aletha left for Eleni and their parents, she wrote, “don’t feel sad, I’m not worth it.” But Eleni wants to tell the truth, that her sister was loved, and valued, and absolutely worth it. Eleni was unable to save her sister, but she entreats those suffering depression to “trust the voices of those who love you… Depression lies. We must tell the truth.”

Read the full story at The Washington Post.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *