I must take issue with the letter in the Jan. 15 edition about the Journal’s Dec. 25 cover story, “Saving Sam.” The letter-writer expressed her being upset that the Journal had “decided to undress Sarah Price so publicly.” She said the article by Heidi Walters was “an intrusive move.” And she complained about the timing -- being the holiday season.
I thought Walters’ article was beautifully written and researched. I thought it hardly “undressed” Sam, but gave a description of a sensitive, intelligent, kind, but very troubled young lady. It noted that while Sam felt she was a loser, one friend noted that at her memorial service there was “a roomful of people that were profoundly sorry that they were not going to play with her anymore.” As for her privacy being invaded, Sam tried desperately to reach out to those around her, while also trying to keep to herself. It is a conflict. Walters noted that her blog had discussed her suicide. Sam had talked about her relationship with her father. That was her way of letting someone know some of what troubled her.
The article told what a caring and giving person Sam was, with examples of giving to women in Third World countries and renting a car to drive a woman to the San Francisco airport. The article included words from Sam’s therapist, who, while not discussing Sam specifically, said that “you must listen when somebody says they’re suffering.” And the article listed resources where people can get help.
Walters’ article was needed. Suicide is not something that can be kept under cover. People need to face up to what causes suicide. They need to know that help is available. They need to know what to look for. And, most important, they need to know that they can help.
— Dave Rosso, Eureka