Another dark day

December 7, 2012 

No matter what any of us were dealing with, experiencing, thinking or feeling on Saturday morning, it couldn’t have compared to the horror, terror and sheer desperation and violence of what was going on inside the mind of Jovan Belcher.

In fact, I kept thinking of another high-profile suicide that affected many people and gave way to some serious discussion on this sensitive topic.

It has been almost a year since Kansas City was rocked by the death of popular TV weatherman Don Harman.

We all remember that day, the feelings, the sadness for his family and the important discussions that followed his death.

This weekend in Kansas City, we got rocked again.

Unexplainable circumstances, unknown pain and uncontrolled emotions led to the very public, very excruciating death of two people last weekend.

The Kansas City Chiefs linebacker and father of an infant girl clearly wasn’t in his right mind when he murdered Kasandra Perkins, drove to his team’s practice facility not far away and proceeded to take his own life. That much we know.

Family members and others will fill in the gaps on the details of the day. And we all know what some of his coaches had to unfortunately witness that morning as Belcher shot himself in their presence.

The whole scenario is awful. And a lot of people are going to need a lot of time and counseling to get through this.

While the online chatter tends to linger on things that are not even germane to the topic – what kind of person Belcher was, chief among them – we should all be more focused on the immediate needs, those of his mother and, most importantly, his daughter.

Suicide is such a vicious act. It’s something beyond most of our comprehension.

In Belcher’s case, his killing of Kassandra and his own loss of life most likely go hand-in-hand. Sometimes, people take their own lives without (directly) harming others.

But many are affected.

The families, siblings, children and friends left behind are, in this particular case, devastated beyond words, confused, angry and suffering.

Playing the game on Sunday was the right thing to do for Belcher’s teammates and for Kansas City.

But now that we’ve gotten past that, it’s time to refocus on the family of the deceased, helping the young daughter and, unfortunately, bringing the topics of suicide and domestic violence back into the forefront.

John Beaudoin is the publisher of the Cass County Democrat Missourian. To comment, call 816-380-3228 or email

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