[Cross-posted] As some of you may have expected, the media are analysing why Kazakh model Ruslana Korshunova committed suicide. Part of it is because the analysis keeps the story alive. Another part is because people are fascinated by this fashion world, and why shouldn’t a newspaper, normally covering dull stories, have an excuse to put the late Miss Korshunova’s face in its pages? (New York even thinks New York might have killed her. Other media are, as I predicted, attempting exposés on the cruelty of the modelling world, such as The Scotsman.)
I suppose I am doing the same thing, by critiquing the fourth estate and having an excuse to publish her name again. But perhaps we will refrain from posting an image of her in this post: this little opinion is not about beautifying a page to get some extra eyeballs.
I don’t know anyone who had unsuccessfully attempted suicide well. I met one woman who had survived slitting her wrists, but it was a verboten topic so I never raised it. I do know a friend who succeeded in his attempt in my university days.
No one, not even his closest friend, David, knew that Andrew was depressed or confused before he took his life with a shotgun in the early 1990s.
It unleashed a whole bunch of emotions with us, his friends, from sadness to downright anger. And knowing Andrew, the ever-alert cynic that he was, he might have had a chuckle at us, if there is an afterlife. (Then again, he didn’t think there was.)
But his decision remains a mystery after nearly 17 years.
And that is probably the folly of trying to rationalize why Ruslana Korshunova leapt to her death out of a ninth-storey window in New York’s Financial District last Saturday.
Anyone who rationalizes the action of suicide probably wouldn’t be committing suicide—because rationality says there are ways out, there are family members left behind who are hurting, and that there is always some hope. There are exceptions: it is possible that a very rational person sees no exit to their situation.
Suicide is, from my layman’s point-of-view (one which I am prepared to be corrected on), something usually irrational, and trying to judge Miss Korshunova’s last few months on earth through her blog postings won’t tell us too much.
The Daily Mail tabloid in the UK speculates that there were relationship woes for her, while friends report that they saw nothing that would cause her to take her own life.
Yet the rational part of me tells me that even at age 20, no relationship wound is deep enough for suicide. Heartache, yes. Even emotional turmoil for a period.
Why Ruslana Korshunova leapt out of her window on Saturday will probably be a mystery to all of us, not least her family who had to identify her body this week.
Perhaps we should stop speculating. ‘Why?’ is a very powerful question in newsmedia and we are always desperate for answers, but in some cases, such as suicide, it may be futile to seek them out. We should let the Korshunova family grieve privately. Posted by Jack Yan, 05:04
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