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  • Dying in Idaho
  • Dying in Idaho

    The Business of Goodbye

      The world was made in balance-light and dark, hot and cold, good and evil-but the ultimate parallel remains as big a mystery as the meaning of life. Just as day fades to night, we are born and die, though Americans in particular have trouble accepting the sudden stop at the end. Sacred texts and cultural traditions provide answers for some, but many others are taught not to talk about death, to turn their heads from sadness and loss rather than embrace and celebrate the transition as an essential part of the process. Last goodbyes should be a time of healing, reflection and joy whether we bury our dead in grand mausoleums or scatter their ashes in high mountain lakes. Everyone dies; the real challenge is to go on living.

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  • The Lonely Battle

    New approaches to Idaho's suicide dilemma
      The numbers speak volumes. According to Idaho Vital Statistics, the number of completed suicides in Idaho in 2002 was over 60 percent higher per capita than the U.S. average. Our state bears the seventh highest per capita suicide total nationwide, and the second highest for adolescents. The number of completed suicides has increased in Idaho each of the last three recorded years (2000-2002), leading up to a 10-year high of 203 victims in 2002. Eighteen percent of high school students surveyed for the State Department of Education's 2003 Youth Risk Behavior Survey recall having "seriously considered" committing suicide within the last year, and 9 percent actually attempted it.
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