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Letter: Photo in last week's edition was bothersome

To the editor,

I would like to comment on the picture that was in the Hastings paper on Oct. 24, of the students holding signs and balloons, wearing matching shirts, in memory of the young man who died by suicide.

My sincere sympathy goes out to the family for their great loss, but what bothers me so is that I don't really think young people realize that death is so final. The family will never be able to touch, see, or talk to the person who is now gone. I don't understand why the kids were all smiling, holding the RIP signs. We tend to "sugar coat" the real problems, and it's time to wake up and realize that these kids need to hear the truth about the way life really is. Drugs, alcohol, mental health issues, suicide are problems that need our total attention.

We need to let kids know that there is help out there for them. Don't be ashamed or embarrassed to seek help, it will not make you weak, it will make you stronger. I don't mean to offend anyone, I do want to let you know that life is worth living. Things don't always go the way we want, but things can be worked out if we are willing to try, learn and grow.

Donna Duffy