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August 2nd, 2012
04:28 PM ET

Cornelius: 'I am the face of suicide'

CNN's Brooke Baldwin talks with Tony Cornelius about his father Don Cornelius' suicide in February.  He recently started the Don Cornelius Foundation in an effort to fight suicide.

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Filed under: Brooke Baldwin
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. Scott K

    My little brother lost his life to this five years ago, and I'm still having a hard time!

    August 2, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
  2. Steven M. McCarthy

    I hope in all of that you take care to include EVERY RETURNING VETERAN from the middle east. End of story. There were more suicides than casualties out of Vietnam. Just wait till you see what's going to happen here, unless we all step up to the GD plate for once.

    August 2, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
  3. bruce thompson

    My boss and great friend shot himself before i got to work and died in my arms. I was able to tell him I forgave him. I promise to talk about suicide as openly as talking about the weather. That way the thinking that leads up to it cannot hide in dark corners. Cringe if you will, but it can save lives.

    August 12, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
  4. Hope Rice

    Bruce Thompson...You are a very nice person, I am sure. We should all talk about suicide as openly as talking about the weather. I maintain it is our moral obligation if we "See Something, to Say Something". Stigma and privacy should not trump safety and love.

    August 13, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  5. Suzi

    @Bruce: "I was able to tell him I forgave him."

    Forgave him for what?

    August 13, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  6. Steve Thomas

    Roberts Rules of Order says that a motion to adjourn is never out of order. In 50 out of 50 states, suicide is legal. Giving support to someone who is despairing is fine, but a man who doesn't own his own life is a slave. Too many anti-suicide folks try to tell people that they're wrong to commit suicide, instead of focusing on changing circumstances so that he wants to live.

    August 13, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
  7. Ashley

    I lost my brother a little over a year ago to suicide. He was going into his 7th year in the NAVY. 26 years old. Very hard thing for people to process and go through. Bruce, I am a little confused as to what you forgive him for? I know we all have different views and beliefs. Steve, what do you read? Suicide and assisted suicide here in PA is illegal. In quite a few states it is illegal. Actually those that leave after a suicide attempt can actually have murder attempts put against themselves..and for those who assist, attempted murder. This is not a legal issue. Its a mattter of it becoming an epidemic, and showing people there is hope at their darkest hour. That there is people, resources, crisis lines for them to call. Even for people with no money or no insurance.

    Suicide is no joking matter. When your loved ones leaves, they takes all of us with them. Its about helping them, keeping then and chaning their perspective on life.

    August 14, 2012 at 10:32 am |
  8. Hydrogen

    "Too many anti-suicide folks try to tell people that they're wrong to commit suicide, instead of focusing on changing circumstances so that he wants to live."

    Nice sentiment. But the other rule is "no body can change him unless he wants to change." The guy who's willing to commit suicide is the only one can change his circumstances. He's fully responsible for his own situation. Blaming others isn't a coward way. "dying is easy, living is hard."

    Suicide is the ultimate quitter.

    Don't flame me for my standing on suicide. I also support assistance suicide. which is a difference story.

    Don't confuse cold blood murder with self defense.

    August 14, 2012 at 10:55 am |
  9. karen

    Hydrogen, you probably need to read up suicide statistics. Suicide does NOT mean that the person is a QUITTER. That is the stupidest thing I've ever heard. Many suicide victims suffered for years of mental illness – is that their fault? Is it someone's fault when someone dies of cancer?

    August 14, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
  10. Raj Singh

    Life is not easy and may not be worth living. It is sad however, because life is a miracle. Scientists have not discovered it anywhere else in this universe ! We trivialize its importance and take it for granted. Every person is unique and designed for a certain amount of stress, beyond which he/she can break down. I wish no one is ever put in those situations. Its a social compact we owe others, expressed through love. (Just my opinion...)

    August 18, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
  11. LO

    We need to get better treatment for people that suffer with depression and other forms of mental illness. So many times treatment is dictated by what insurance will pay, if that person is fortunate to have insurance at all. Insurance will pay only for a four day stay in a mental health institution. The patient gets some help, but not enough help in many instances if they are suffering from severe depression.Longer term institutional care is out of the question for most families because the cost is prohibitive.

    August 18, 2012 at 10:49 pm |
  12. LO

    The patient is still feeling depressed and hasn't developed copiing skills that are vital for survival when discharged so quickly. Families may still fear for their loved ones safety and end up again admitting them into the hospital for yet another a four day stint. In the long run, this not cost effective nor helpful for the patient. It is a vicious and very sad cycle. My heart goes out to every individual that is inflicted by mental illness and to their families and friends touched by their suffering. We know so much about the human body, but still so little about the brain.

    August 18, 2012 at 11:54 pm |
  13. TPR

    @suzi I was thinking the exact same thing. If he meant he "forgave" him for committing suicide, to say that to your friend dying in your arms seems a bit cold-hearted and selfish, no?

    August 21, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
  14. Karm

    @TPR & @ Suzi – No not selfish and cold hearted. It is selfish and cold hearted to commit suicide and then have your best friend/ wife, child or even stranger walk in on that and make him/her live with that memory forever.
    He had every right to make the statement of forgiveness (or not).

    August 24, 2012 at 11:26 am |
  15. extremecenter

    Karm, you must have never felt the horror of deep depression. I have suffered from it for over almost 40 years. It is just unbearable now and I have gone to so many therapists, doctors, took medicines, prayed to God but if I did do it, I would be the villian but nobody would remember all the years of agony just so my family wouldn't suffer.

    August 27, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
  16. extremecenter

    Thank you Karen for your understanding. I could not have said it any better.

    August 27, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
  17. Maggie

    My dad took his own life 6 years ago. In my eyes, he will never be a quitter, a coward, selfish or cold-hearted. He was a man who was hurting, that no one could get to. Wanting to change isn't the issue (@Hydrogen) the issue is a problem of depression, physical illness, mental illness, and things you obviously don't understand.

    I can not say that for the past 6 years I haven't dealt with my own problems in trying to deal with the death of my dad. I have felt anger, resentment, saddness, longing, understanding, too many emotions to really write. It has been horrible, and even 6 years later, some days are still a battle. I was one who was at home while they were taking my dad out of the house. I saw it with my own 2 eyes, something I will NEVER forget. But at the end of the day, I have come to terms with it. I can understand his reasons, although it makes it no easier. I feel I have been cheated out of having a dad for all the things a little girl wants her dad for, and I have. But, I too, have forgiven my dad, and I'm ok with the thought of him wanting to go, my only wish, is that somehow, someway, someone could have been there holding his hand. That is what I carry with me, not the vision of what I saw that night, not my anger at my dad, but the chilling thought that he thought he was alone in life, and he had to go alone in death.

    August 31, 2012 at 10:38 am |
  18. personal training Long Island

    Maggie
    Stay strong! Keep fighting your an inspiration to us all.Tony Cornelius Great job we are all proud of you keep educating.

    January 19, 2014 at 7:24 pm |
  19. Bubba's Mom

    My husband committed suicide last month. We were married 15 years, he left me with 3 kids – 2 of them under 16. I had to close our business and am selling things off. My hubby was a great man but suffered with depression and alchohlism. He did Hazelton and quit drinking for time to time but never for himself. He was on a whole pharmacy of medication. He got to the point where he refused any help, he tried drinking himself to death. He pushed away anyone who cared about thim then I found him dead in our bed from a gunshot wound. Our 11 year old daughter found him first and heard the shot. That is imbedded in her head as well as mine for finding him. Depression is very ugly but you can't help someone who refuses help....trust me I have tried for years. I live with so much regret, anger and sadness, I am so hurt that some days I can't function, I"m emotionally sick- have to force myself to eat and move forward for my kids sake. Why am I telling you this? If I can save one family the heartache I feel every day then I"m happy, if I can't I'll keep trying. More needs to be done to commit someone so depressed. I miss my husband so much it hurts.

    July 21, 2014 at 10:47 pm |

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