February 20, 2012 6:47 PM Subscribe
An acquaintance from high school recently died at the age of 22. His family decided to keep the cause of death private. Help me out here -- why would they choose to do that?
posted by victory_laser to Human Relations (64 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I found out when perusing a facebook page of a mutual friend (who I know a little better than the person who died). The death actually occurred a few months ago, and all that happened was his stepsister announced on facebook that he had passed away and when the memorial was.
I got in touch with two people who I thought would know the cause of death; they didn't know. One told me the family had kept it private at the time of the memorial, but he always just assumed it was drug-related.
I just want to know why the family would be so hush-hush. I'm assuming it was probably drugs/alcohol or suicide, because those are some of the only ways you can die that would be, for lack of a better word, embarrassing, because it implies some level of fault with the person who died.
1) Am I being unreasonable in assuming it was drugs/alcohol or suicide? Why else would they keep it private?
2) Is the family justified in keeping the cause of death private if my suspicions are true?
If I speak frankly, I think their decision was stupid. I think it can be beneficial to get the word out because it motivates people struggling with the same issues to either straighten up or get help. I don't have any illusions about the perpetually amazing ability of addicts and otherwise down people to rationalize their situation and stay on their present course despite everything; but still, there's always a chance this information would help someone. Someone died and they were 22, alright, just fucking tell us why!
I would never contact his stepsister an ask her why, because I would be afraid that would bring her pain, however I can't shake off my feeling that they are painfully naive. I am surprised at the amount of fascination I have had in the past few days surrounding my search for the cause, and the anger I have felt towards the family, because he was not a someone I would call a friend. If I am being an insensitive asshole, I just want someone to tell me.