What makes a good suicide note?


To live… to live would be an awfully big adventure. – R. Williams as Peter Banning
03-06-07-13-46 / 04


Hello Diner. A good suicide note is one you never have to write. A good suicide note has on it recipes, doodles, and handwritten love letters, instead. A good suicide note has on it reasons you should live and how things would be much worse if you killed yourself.

Depression lies. Depression drains you of your self-worth, willpower, and motivation. What if this hopelessness is from an illness instead of being personally your fault? But many with the disease would completely overrule that possibility–that’s one of its symptoms. It’s a disease that needs to be more widely understood, discussed, and accepted as a real thing.

This is why I’m speaking so plainly about it. But please understand that I’m not trying to be dismissive of your personal issues and diagnose a generic ailment in order to sell a miraculous cure-all when I put this all under the big “depression” umbrella. It’s not that at all. Your specific problems are not that simple. Depression itself is not that simple. If you reached the point of contemplating suicide, your situation needs the care of a therapist, and in the meantime you can let us know more. One of my batchmates would be happy to help you when you dine with us again.

But to say that you’re insignificant would simply be inaccurate. You’re the reason I’m here today. You are my Diner tonight, and this is the one Order I fulfill in my lifetime. Without you, this conversation would not have happened, and its contents would not go on to help someone else in similar pain. Your life touches so many, and your death will not make anyone’s life better.

You had people in mind who would have read your note. I know for certain your death would be heartbreaking and painful for them.

No collection of sentences would ever be enough to justify your death to them. There are intangible things they like about you that words can’t easily describe: they like the distinct rhythm of your voice, the look on your face when you enjoy your favorite dish, the way you comment on everyday things. No note will ever bring those back.

But you can do more than just trust what a fortune-telling cookie is saying. Go talk to the intended recipients of your suicide note. Tell them you’re struggling and you need their help to hang on. Tell them you need to hear something they will miss about you if you’re gone. Someone will respond if you just ask. After all, I answered.

This next part is going to be hard, but your favorite Bakery is just a few clicks away. Good luck, Diner.

If you’re in a country not represented below, please let the Advice Fortune Cookies know what your helplines are.

US Suicide Prevention Hotline: (800) 273-8255

The Trevor Project

Lifeline of Australia’s helplines

Crisis centres across Canada

Emergency resources in Germany

Suicide helplines in The Netherlands

Lifeline of New Zealand’s helplines

UK NHS suicide resources