Not Your Secret To Share?

You might want to skip this post (about suicide) and read about MPs not knowing what’s going on. Need help? In New Zealand, you can call Lifeline on 0800 543 354.

This heartbreaking voicemail recording was shared with me last week. Although I have never believed in holding back secrets, I feel torn about posting this one. Like the young man who gave it to me, I’m haunted by what I could have said to my friend Dave before he took his life.

This is the last thing I heard from my girlfriend in January of 2009. It was right before she took her own life. I didn’t answer the phone because I was in class, and have regretted it ever since.

Postsecret founder Frank Warren speakingA couple of months ago PostSecret published the audio from the voicemail (transcript on hover) a girlfriend left for her boyfriend before she took her own life. Noted in the preamble it seems everyone is divided over whether publishing it was the right decision or not. Either way it was brave publishing by PostSecret.

I think being open about suicide and mental illness in general is great, but does this cross over into the realm of voyeurism? I’m leaning towards no. This illustrates the pain someone feels when they lose someone close to them to suicide. “Could I have done something?” Hopefully sharing this gave the boyfriend a little closure. I think the context is also important, it was published on a site about sharing secrets, not on a news website or social media page for shock value.

The boyfriend wanted this shared. He knew what website he was submitting it to. Was it his secret to share? I say it was his decision. Maybe the boyfriend hadn’t shared this with anyone else. Maybe, because of this, someone will try another number, instead of leaving a voicemail. Maybe this will help someone.

Tweets about this. Hat tip to Ally, though she disagrees with me. She is hilarious and you should follow her blog.

Image credit: Pop!Tech

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