Eleni Pinnow’s obituary for her sister Aletha confronts depression, and encourages others to talk about their mental health before it’s too late.
When Eleni Pinnow lost her younger sister Aletha to suicide last month, she made a decision to talk about it–to combat the stigma around depression, and to encourage others to talk about their mental health before it’s too late.
In the obituary she wrote for her 31-year-old sister in the Duluth News Tribune, Pinnow addressed depression and suicide directly and eloquently:
Aletha Meyer Pinnow, 31, of Duluth, formerly of Oswego and Chicago, Ill., died from depression and suicide on Feb. 20, 2016.
She loved animals, theater, Halloween, Star Wars, cartoons, preparing food for loved ones, and cuddling with aforementioned animals. She did not love France (they know why) and William Shatner (who also presumably knew why). Aletha was fond of making her mom laugh until she literally cried and helping her dad do anything and everything. It is impossible to sum up a woman so caring, genuine, vivacious, hilarious, and sparkly. Those qualities were so obvious to everyone around her. Aletha was her family’s whole entire world. She enriched the lives of countless colleagues and students. Unfortunately, a battle with depression made her innate glow invisible to her and she could not see how desperately loved and valued she was.
If the family were to have a big pie in the sky dream, we would ask for a community-wide discussion about mental health and to pull the suffocating demon of depression and suicide into the bright light of day. Please help us break the destructive silence and stigma surrounding mental illness and suicide.