It’s unbelievable to watch a person die after getting to know them and their struggles so well. There are certain shows and movies where the makers simply got it right. They took scripts and made them conversations. Sets become a place that you yourself know. If you bumped into one of the characters you feel you know them so well that you’d both use each others names. I felt like a knew Hannah and Clay. They’re practically my age and to me their scenery isn’t that small in my rear view mirror. My own pains and struggles are still with me and the thoughts and feelings I experienced are not yet forgotten. Although my reality was different from theirs I can identify with the characters.


***SPOILER ALERT*** If you intend to watch this show read no further.


Hannah Baker was an unfortunate story that needed to be told. A shy girl hoping to break through her shell and get the “high school experience”. Unfortunately she got what she asked for and more. The whole show and, what becomes clear by the shows conclusion as the ending of Hannah’s life starts with one action. A friend green lighting her to go after her ex. This ex was your movie stereo-type jock on first sight. A sports captain, somewhat handsome, and of course popular young man. Much like in any other film though he is exposed as something of a predator and a liar. He manages to snap a timely photo of Hannah in an unfortunate pose and uses the photo to boast about his “score” among friends. The truth of course being that nothing scandalous actually happened. The picture is sent school wide and Hannah’s demise begins.


As normally happens things snowballed for Hannah. Her small group of friends held together for a bit but soon came to turn on her. She began to lose her world to this lie until eventually the only world she had was what the lie created. Her torment was ignorance by others. Even the protagonist fell victim to the lie and got angry with Hannah. He comes around and ultimately was, in my opinion, Hannah’s only hope for salvation.


A quick break for the story line. doesn’t this happen to everyone at some point or another. We get caught up in a lie whether it’s ours or someone else’s to the point where we don’t know what the truth is anymore. I myself can remember a few times where I tried to convince myself of a lie and it led me to just seconds away from where Hannah’s story ended in one case. This story is unique to our generation in the we have so much social pressure. The phrase written in stone means nothing. Stone can be cracked, ink burned, pencils erased, and books burned. For my peers and I we have the harshest memory of them all provided in the internet. Whether it’s a photo that leads to a lie or something we say that we wish we could take back the internet receives all and gives nothing back.


So, that’s what happened to Hannah a picture took her future away. All her hopes dreams and future contributions to the world were snuffed out in less than 2 seconds of some guy’s time who thought it’d be good fun. I won’t give away the whole show for many reasons but I would love for this article to be as vivid as the show is although I know I lack such capabilities. My point here is to acknowledge the spectacular work done on the series as well as highlight its accuracy in the real world of young men and women growing up in today’s world. I like to think I’m a manly man but I’d be lying if I told you I don’t cry occasionally. It normally takes a lot to work me up. The last time I can remember crying was after a huge fight my girlfriend and I had where I thought I’d just lost the love of my life. That said this sow made me cry for about 20 or so minutes. I don’t recall when I started but I can tell you for sure that watching Hannah cut up from her wrist to her elbow caused me to weep. Like I said in the beginning I feel as though I know this girl. She had spent the past 12 hours vividly describing her life and her emotions to me. So, watching her bleed out knowing how much pain she was in and how close so many people came to saving her was just miserable.


The realest feeling, I had was the sense of how helpless I was in the moment. The truth is once someone gets the idea in their mind that it’s time to end it, it’s a long road back before that thought is truly eradicated. Hannah had several moments where she believed that just one little thing would be enough. Just a glance from the right person gave her hope. People don’t want to die instinctively. However, there comes a point where the path back takes so much more. Some get lucky. A friend catches them staring off and knows exactly what they’re thinking. They get pulled back from the window. Others just get missed. Hannah got missed. As she died I wanted to badly to grab her wrist and beg her to just wait one more day. Try just one more time. But suicide isn’t like that. It happens and then it’s done. Like her mother was in the film everyone around you is left helpless. Thinking over every moment they can remember with you trying to find the one that changed everything. Hannah loved the people in her life I think and so she left them a puzzle so that they could interpret her pain. Even if they couldn’t reverse it she wanted people to be able to understand that her death wasn’t due to any single event but a chain. A chain that could have ended if someone had just noticed what could not be noticed.


No one thinks their loved one is suicidal until it’s too late or close to it. We want those close to us to be happy as our happiness is co-dependent on theirs. So, we look past the bad days in hope that there is more good than bad. This is not the case though. for most of us happiness comes and goes. The rest of the time isn’t always bad but sometimes it’s just idle and without feeling. I think it’s how we interpret that time that causes some to choose suicide. You can choose to focus on the good or the bad. Hannah focused on the bad so much that she pushed the goods things away. It’s not her fault. As much as we like to think we are none of us are truly in control of our thoughts and we only try to think about our actions. We live reactive lives. Hannah wasn’t thinking about how she was pushing herself toward the edge but instead reacting to how much bad stuff had happened to her and the bad stuff affected how she subconsciously reacted.


Suicide is a hot issue. We all like to say suicide is never the answer and while suicide isn’t a great answer for some it is the rule of ‘c’. When you’re doing a multiple-choice test and you have no idea what the answer is pick C. I’ve sat for that test and read over the answers. In the end unless you’re thrown a lifeline the only another answer left is C. All others are simply unbearable. No more weight can be supported on your shoulders. Here’s the kicker. There are lifelines. The double edge to the internet sword is that while it can be used to spread so much hate it can also provide a savior. The website offers several options for emergency help. As well you can always reach out to friends and family. Once while talking with my two best friends one asked us if we had ever experienced depression. He shared about his first heartbreak which was admittedly rough. my other friend vaguely described what he said was more a period of sadness. When I spoke we, all realized how much we could have used each other. I went through a small stretch where I hardly moved ate only enough to live. All my thoughts were dark and I wouldn’t sleep for days and then I’d sleep for a straight day. As I told them this I could see how said they were and I asked for their forgiveness. I asked forgiveness because I failed to reach out to them. They were my friends and I didn’t let them help. Don’t make that mistake. Reach out. While Hannah’s story was fictional it is very real to some people probably closer to you than you would think.


“Love Never Fails”


-St. Paul