I Thought It Was A Suicide Letter

Joel Kaskinen
2 min readOct 18, 2020


Your email sent us all into a frenzy.

We were at El Paraiso for happy hour when we received it. Scott noticed it first and I sensed his energy shift. Being an empath, I could tell something was wrong. Then I felt McKenzie’s energy shift too, and I knew it was bad.

Before I knew it, we all were on our phones reading. Then the duty phone rang and Scott had to respond.

Everyone thought your email was a suicide letter. I got emotional. I was so scared we were gonna lose you too. I couldn’t handle losing another student to suicide. I definitely couldn’t handle losing you.

I called you. I texted you. I wanted to know that you were ok. I needed to know that you were ok. I couldn’t bear the thought of something happening to you.

After we made contact with you and I’d confirmed that you were safe, I kept drinking. I was so anxious and I couldn’t possibly go back home because I knew I’d break down.

Shelby and I went out. We barhopped all night. We got drunk and messy, but at least I wasn’t alone with my feelings. I was in the company of a great friend. I had the comfort of alcohol.

Today, I was hungover. I spent the morning laying in bed. I couldn’t move. I wanted nothing but to cry and to sleep and to be the crustiest version of myself. That’s how depression shows up for me sometimes.

I thought your email was a suicide letter, but I know now it was a call for attention and action. You want to be heard. We all do.

I understand why you sent it, but I’m also concerned about your wellbeing. Anyone holding onto that much raw emotion is carrying a lot. I know. I’ve been there. I’m still there. I feel angry. I feel hurt. I feel sad. I feel scared. You’re obviously feeling these things too.

I’m sorry you’re feeling this way, but I need you to know that you’re so loved and cared about. You have people to help get you through the tough times.

I thought your email was a suicide letter and it freaked me out. I need you to understand the impact of that. I need you to understand your words have power, which I think is what you wanted, but it was wildly inappropriate.

You scared me. You sent me spiraling. You took me back to July 15th, when I got the worst phone call of my life. I thought it was a suicide letter.



Joel Kaskinen

Communicator. Educator. Empath. Survivor. Writer.