Choosing death affects entire community

It’s so sad for the family of John Caldwell that he committed suicide by jumping in front of the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge train. It is doubly sad that his mother took her life by walking into highway traffic. In both cases, these people purposely involved other people in their very gory deaths. Who knows what the effect on everyone, especially the kids on the train, will be. Mrs. Caldwell could have caused the death of other people if traffic swerved to avoid her.

In both cases, The Durango Herald should have covered the events in all their gory details even though it’s a horrible burden on the Caldwell family survivors. For them, the damage is done, and I’m sorry the media makes it worse, but it’s a burden that John Caldwell and his mother put on their own family – and quite purposefully.

The coverage of such tragedies helps bring awareness to mental health and substance-abuse issues. More important is that it may help prevent someone else from taking his or her life in such a horrible way to hurt family members and complete strangers. It should not be easy to ignore the consequences of suicide, especially violent death that involves innocent bystanders.

For the Caldwell family, the gossip and rumors will run wild in any case. The best action is to turn off the TV and radio and not read the Herald during such horrible circumstances.

Kendal Sykes


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