Effects of a Suicide Note

By Susan Osborn:

Occasionally, a suicide note such as Angie’s in the following story is left. Sometimes, it is a last attempt for vengeance. It appears Angie had probably been jealous of her sister for years—jealous of her good grades and desire to earn a college education. The note caused Carol to drop out of college and to go into a deep depression. Only God’s intervention can explain how Carol put her life back together again.

This story was taken from Too Soon to Say Goodbye: Healing and Hope for Suicide Victims and Survivors and used with permission by New Hope Publishers.

Image by Simon Howden / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image by Simon Howden / FreeDigitalPhotos.net



Wanda J. Burnside

In one of my college classes, a girl kept staring at me. I couldn’t help but notice how thin and fragile she looked. I tried to make eye contact with her, but she always turned away. After a while, I decided to ignore her so I sat on the other side of the room.

One day after class, she stepped in front of me. Clutching her stack of books close to her chest, she said, “Hi! I’m Carol.”

“Hi! I’m Wanda,” I replied.

She smiled, then looked away.            

Hey, Wanda!” I heard someone call out, “Are you going to the student union with us for lunch?

I turned to see a group of my friends from class motioning to me. “Yeah, I’m coming,” I answered.

Go on,” said Carol. Don’t let me stop you.”

No. Please come with us. Let’s talk,” I said.

Well, I don’t know… she hesitated and then continued, I usually…

Wanda, come on and bring your friend,” said Charles.

So we ran to catch up with the others. My friends accepted Carol, and from that day on, she went everywhere with us. She transformed from someone painfully shy to someone outgoing. Everybody saw the difference in her. Even the professors made comments about her budding personality.

One day, a group of us decided to walk to a new restaurant across the street from the campus. As we reached the parking lot, up drove a shiny red convertible. “Carol!” shouted a pretty girl with flowing hair. She got out of the car. “Carol!”

Carol stood frozen with a look of fear and sheer desperation on her face. Her hands began to shake. Her eyes filled with tears, and for several moments she remained silent.

The other girl wore colorful, tight-fitting clothes that clung to her curves. Plus she had a beautiful, flawless, complexion.              

“Carol! Today’s my birthday! Remember? My friends are coming over tonight, and you promised to decorate for my party! Why are you here? I told Mama you’d ruin everything for me. You, your good grades, and your school!” she yelled.

This is my sister, Angie,” Carol softly said with tears rolling down her face. Excuse me, everyone.” Then they got into the car and drove away.

“Carol never mentioned her sister,” Charles commented. “They’re so opposite.”                       

“Angie is a fox, and Carol’s so skinny!” Terry laughed.           

“Hey guys. Stop! Carol is our friend,” said Barbara.     

Two weeks passed, and Carol had not returned to school. Several of us tried to phone her, but no one could reach her. We all wondered what happened.

One evening while doing my homework at home, my mother called me to the phone.

I listened to a distraught voice. “I’m Carol’s mom. My daughter…she died. Life isn’t the same without my beautiful daughter,” she cried.

“Carol died?” I asked.

Another voice came on the phone. “Hello, Wanda.”

“Carol. Carol, is it you? What is going on?”

“My sister, Angie…she killed herself. She drove into our garage, rolled up the windows, and left the engine running. She also left a long letter—one that blamed me. Angie said I had everything—friends, good grades, and a boyfriend.”

I couldn’t believe it. Angie, dead?

Shortly after our phone conversation, Carol dropped out of school. We later learned she was hospitalized for depression. None of us knew what to do. Carol’s absence created a void in all our lives.

A year later, Carol called me. “Hi, Wanda, this is Carol.”

“Carol,” I hesitated, “how are you?”

“I’m fine. I’m living in California and attending college. I’m also engaged.”

“Carol, you sound happy. I’m so glad for you.” I continued, “We’ve all missed you.”

“Yeah, Wanda, I miss all of you, too. You know, I turned to God. My sister’s jealousy and hatred caused me a lot of pain. Yet, I’ll always miss her. God helped me to accept the unacceptable. Angie chose to die. I choose to live.”

If you are depressed and contemplating suicide, there are a number of resources available as near as your telephone. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), a free, 24-hour hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. Your call will be routed to the nearest crisis center to you.