“Sidney, you told me that you wanted to be a writer more than anything in the world.”
He suddenly had my attention. “That was yesterday.”
“What about tomorrow?”
I looked at him puzzled. “What?”
“You don’t know what can happen tomorrow. Life is like a novel, isn’t it? It’s filled with suspense. You have no idea what’s going to happen until you turn the page.”
“I know what’s going to happen. Nothing.”
“You don’t really know that, do you?” Everyday is a different page, Sidney, and they can be full of surprises. You’ll never know what’s next until you turn the page.”
I thought about that. He did have a point. Every tomorrow was like the next page of a novel.
We turned the corner and walked down a deserted street. “If you really want to commit suicide, Sidney, I understand. But I’d hate to see you close the book too soon and miss all the excitement that could happen to you on the next page — the page you’re going to write.”
Don’t close the book too soon… Was I closing it too soon? Something wonderful could happen tomorrow.
Either my father was a superb salesman or I wasn’t fully committed to ending my life, because by the end of the next block, I had decided to postpone my plan.
Sidney Sheldon was a very successful American writer and producer. He is consistently cited as one of the top ten best selling fiction writers of all time
NY Times reported, “Variety estimated Mr. Sheldon’s net worth, including his earnings from his film and television ventures, at $3 billion. Mr. Sheldon’s books have been published in 51 languages, making him, by many accounts, the most widely translated author in the world. “
What many don’t know is that Sidney Sheldon almost died of suicide at the age of 17, and was saved because his father (who was supposed to be away) forgot something and had to go back home.
Note: I started this Community Page because of my work that I do on suicide prevention project. We want to do early intervention; helping those who struggle early, before stress becomes crisis. I found this article yesterday, and it makes me really sad.
Please stay …
In 2017, 14 out of every 100,000 Americans died by suicide, according to a new analysis released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics. That’s a 33% increase since 1999, and the highest age-adjusted suicide rate recorded in the U.S. since 1942. (Rates were even higher during the Great Depression, hitting a century peak of 21.9 in 1932.)
It is true that happenstance marked Shneidman’s career. While working at the LA Veterans Administration in 1949, he was asked to write condolence letters to widows of two victims by suicide. He researched the two cases at the LA County Coroner’s Office and there was led to a vault of suicide notes. He never looked back. Shneidman spent his life studying why people kill themselves, indeed, the intensive and creative study of people who died by suicide.