Christian Knudsen, 14, Death by Suicide
I was contacted on the facebook blog page and notified of another horrific loss to teen suicide. This time, however, bullying wasn’t the culprit. According to his friend who contacted me, there had been some bullying; however, according to his family, the culprit was depression. Whatever the case, 14-year-old Christian Knudsen surrendered his battle Saturday, August 25th.
Says his grieving family, Christian had “…a zest for life”, was very caring and compassionate, had big dreams for his future and an even bigger faith. Says his friend who contacted me, he was a “…fun guy who could always make you smile. You would always know when he entered a room. He was an athlete and had a passion for soccer. ” But, I think one of his older brother’s friends said it best:
I don’t know him personally, in fact, I wouldn’t have even known his name if somebody brought it up. The only thing I would think of would be his brother, Erik Knudsen of Letters and Lights. Christian was Erik’s younger brother who was dealing with depression, so much so that he commited suicide on Saturday, August 25th, 2012. I know what it’s like to be in that position of wanting to die, but he felt it needed to be taken to a whole new level. I’m deeply sorry for the family and friends of this innocent boy, who was lost in all of the chaos of the world and the society. I don’t know the fine details, and I don’t need to. Christian was loved by many, but we never show the love to people because we think they already know. That’s where the problem is. If everybody who’s telling Christian they love him now, would’ve done it before Saturday, we might still have him here. Show your love for people, because you don’t know what’s going on in their lives. Don’t be afraid of what it could do.
My dearest thoughts go out to the Knudsen family and all affected by Christian’s passing. Hopefully it’s better for him wherever he is, because the pain he was having here was too much. RIP Christian. You’re missed and loved by many, even of those who don’t know you.
We don’t know the fine details, and we don’t need to. What we do know is yet one more young person has been lost to teen suicide. And, that’s a problem. It’s a problem we do need to learn the “fine details” of so that we can better learn how to prevent it. According to an online obituary written by a family member,
Although a community of family members, friends, and professionals worked hard with him, he had struggles that overcame his will to live
I know that the same held true with another highly publicized teen suicide from last October. And, I’m sure that there are countless other survivors who can say the same thing. Understanding depression can be a very helpful and useful tool in suicide prevention. Of course, it’s too late to prevent Christian from ending his young, promising life. However, we can still continue to work as hard as we can to learn more about the root causes of teen suicide, then work even harder to try to prevent more families from having to endure what The Knudsens are having to endure right now. The mental health aspect of suicides is very real. The more we know, the better we understand, the better our chances are of making a solid difference in preventing these life-changing events from occurring.
With September being Suicide Prevention Month Worldwide, I encourage everyone to learn more about depression, and other mental health issues that contribute to teen suicides. Indeed, ALL suicides. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention:
The emotional crises that usually precede suicide are often recognizable and treatable. Although most depressed people are not suicidal, most suicidal people are depressed. Serious depression can be manifested in obvious sadness, but often it is rather expressed as a loss of pleasure or withdrawal from activities that had been enjoyable. One can help prevent suicide through early recognition and treatment of depression and other psychiatric illnesses.
Sadly, we say goodbye to yet another promising young life. We can go to a facebook memorial page set up in Christian’s honor and pay our condolences to his family and friends. It won’t bring him back to them; however, it will hopefully help with their healing process to know that so many people care…and, are grieving with them. Rest in peace, Christian.