Elderly Suicide

by Claude Branz

My seventy-four old father commited suicide 8 years ago. He was growing more feeble all the time and walked with a cane. On a Sunday morning while my mother was in church, he went into the garage. Somehow, he got a rope over the rafters, climbed onto a folding aluminum lawn chair, put a plastic bag over his head, put the rope around his neck and stepped off the chair. My mother found him when she got home from church. They were married 49 years, she lived another six years and never mentioned him again. I am one of six children and only my younger sister and I have ever talked about it. I was 44 at the time and am now 52, she was 32 and now she is 40-years-old. No other family members will discuss my fathers suicide. The idea of his suicide is a taboo subject.

I think the idea of senior citizen suicide is a taboo subject. There is very little writen about it that I can find. Because of that, I am working on writing an magazine article on senior suicide. I think it is more common that anyone realizes. If any of you have an experience to relate, please e-mail me at [email protected] and tell me as much as you feel comfortable. I am not interested in names, I am only interested in stories.

My story happened in a small farm town in Central Illinois. I live in North Carolina now.

Thank you for anything you are willing to share.

Claude Branz

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