There's an important message that can be learned from the tragic loss of life of both Steve McNair and Sahel Kazemi. It's a message that has been heard before and we will continue to hear.
This message is that if you feel like someone is going to end their own life, get them some help whether it is from a parent, a counselor, or a hotline. If you feel they are in immediate danger, call 9-1-1.
According to most articles I've read on the situation that happened with McNair and Kazemi, it has been quoted that Kazemi's life was "spinning out of control" and according to her friend, Kazemi stated "my life is a ball of sh*t and I should end it."
When is it going to hit people when friends say things like that they are in need of help? That is not a time to laugh because you feel like it is a joke and it is also not a time to ignore the person who believes they are better off ending their life because you feel they are just doing it for attention.
There's a quote that goes, "Man can live about 40 days without food, about three days without water, about eight minutes without air, but only for one second without hope.”
Yet, her friend that she talked to about ending her life didn't think of getting help for Kazemi. It sounded to me from the quotes Kazemi was desperate for a way out and never got the help she needed, so she took it into her own hands.
The problem is when that cry for help is ignored or not dealt with properly like in this case, that's when the hope is all but gone. So the only way out is to kill themselves. Sometimes it's successful, other times it is not.
I'm not condoning the actions of Kazemi, but it was obvious from the more recent articles in regards to the case, Kazemi needed receive the help she needed. Her problems were mounting due to the fact she had two cars in her name.
She was the one making payments for the SUV that she had told her friends McNair had bought for her. The other car was a Kia, but she was not able to sell it, so she continued to make payments on it. Kazemi's roommate was moving out, meaning that her rent was in effect doubling because she obviously hadn't found a new roommate.
The interesting piece to the puzzle according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution article "McNair's Girlfriend Felt Like Life was Falling Apart" is that Kazemi had a sad childhood according to her friends and family.
Yet, in another quote from that article, it states from her sister that, "She was scared to be alone." With that, you can only imagine what it meant for her if McNair was having an affair with another individual.
She was scared of being left behind by McNair who provided her a better lifestyle then she could give herself, but if he left, that meant that she would more than likely lose her condo and possibly her cars because she was only working at Dave and Busters for minimum wage and tips.
Kazemi told her friend the night she killed herself and McNair that she was better off dead.
How many times are we going to see this until someone does something? Even if you believe the person is in no immediate harm, it is better to be safe than sorry.
I remember more than five years ago, a friend of mine named Sara kept telling me she wanted to kill herself after a fundraiser at the college she attended. I knew she meant it but since I was in a completely different state, I had no clue how to get the help she needed.
My first idea was to contact the school newspaper and so I did. At the time, I still had AOL so I decided to search for people who went to that college and the first message when I explained the situation didn't believe me. The very next person I sent a message to had the same response, but it was obvious she wasn't alone in the place where she was on AOL.
Apparently, she explained the situation to her friend. Turned out Sara was actually someone she pledged with. She eventually got a hold of Sara and they started talking and planning for her to get help.
Because I had written to the campus newspaper apparently the campus security came to Sara's door. They wanted to make sure she was alright and she ended up talking with the counselor at the school.
So, again what can we learn from this terrible tragedy where two people have died tragically? What we need to learn is to start listening to people and stop ignoring their message when someone says something about ending their life prematurely, regardless of context. It is not something to laugh at and it is definitely not something to ignore.
The band Good Charlotte had a song called "Hold On," which came out in 2002, about suicide. According to the music video, which I will post a link to, there's a suicide every 18 minutes in the United States. This means that there's at least three per hour. 72 people die from suicide each day in the United States. Here's the video to "Hold On."
One Tree Hill had an episode titled, "With Tired Eyes, Tired Minds, Tired Souls, We Slept." It was about a character on the show who felt abandoned by his friends. Each one of them had gone their separate ways once high school began and he was left alone because he became an afterthought to his friends.
This isolations lead him down a dark road where eventually he took his own life. Again, that fear of being alone and isolated was the same with Kazemi. Here's a link to the public service announcement link.
Here's the link to the clip of the scene http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QSf0gGJf6Bk and the events leading to the supposed suicide in One Tree Hill.
My hope is that people will come to the realization after learning of McNair and Kazemi's death. Kazemi should not be labeled as a "psycho bitch" as some people have commented on other articles, but to look at what lead her to the event and question would I be able to identify if that was my child would I have been able to help her? Would I have been able to see the warning signs?
It is not our position to judge Kazemi as a "psycho bitch." It is time for us to examine what we can learn from this unfortunate loss of lives.
If you feel like a friend or even a family member needs help there are resources out there and here are some: