A new age has dawned. It is now the era of shared information. A paroxysm of electronic media outlets has been bestowed upon us. Blogging, Tweeting, and Facebook status updating have externalized even the most mundane personal musings. With the panoply of scripted pondering in which we all swim, how does one go about separating true existential angst from the haphazardly typed Twitter retweet? I am here to help.

So you want to end it all. I am not here to judge your willingness to follow through. I mean, the fact that you are writing a suicide note calls your commitment into question. If you really wanted to leave this world, you would have already done so and not bothered to leave behind an explanation. I understand; you don't want to just off yourself and leave your motive open to interpretation. And people have to have some type of explanation. You can't just excuse yourself from the world and leave a note saying, “I have to see a man about a dog.” You need to leave behind a posthumous proclamation that places guilt accordingly; otherwise, what's the point?

At this point it's probably a good idea to talk with someone about why you want to do this in the first place. Call or text 988 for the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline (or live chat online) and talk with a trained professional, day or night. If nothing else, maybe they can help you hash out what you really want to say in your note. It's free and confidential—think of it as a suicide note tutor.

You don't want your suicide note to start off with a cliche line. “By the time you read this, I will be dead” is trite and entirely too dramatic. Suicide is the most dramatic of all actions, but your suicide note should not be overly dramatic. You don't want to be written off as a drama queen. I suggest opening with a lighter greeting. Have some fun with it! Keep in mind that the reader has just discovered a dead body, so there is no need to punctuate the solemness of the situation any further. Here are a list of possible opening lines…

  • “Hey! Ya found me!”
  • “Weird, I know. Here's the thing…”
  • “You're crying, aren't you? I knew it!”

If you have a good idea who will find the note first, feel free to personalize (e.g. “Hey mom, I hope I didn't leave a mess”). However, I recommend maintaining a tone that isn't directed toward anyone in particular. Ideally, you want a complete stranger to be able to appreciate your suicide note.

Now that you've caught your reader's attention with a clever opening line, you're going to want to let them know that you are getting down to business. Start off the body of your suicide note with something like, “For realsies though” or “But for serious, I am totally dead.”

You want to make sure not to come off frantic. Perhaps a caveat about how suicide is not the coward's way out. It actually takes serious commitment to follow through. Proper grammar and spelling is a must. No one is going to feel guilty if it seems like you were not of sound mind while writing your suicide note.

Be concise. Don't spend too much time on one point. Let people know your death is on their hands, but keep them guessing. Brevity carries more weight. Throw in some vague accusations like, “Laura, you know the countless ways in which you tortured me.”

Keep things short and sweet. If you try to write a lengthy suicide note that goes into depth about every gripe you have with the world, you will find out that it is a very therapeutic exercise. This is not a good thing. If your letter is too long, you will hash out all of your angst and will likely lose steam when it comes to actually killing yourself. A suicide letter by an author who is still alive is just an emo blog entry. If you want your letter to have any gravitas, you have to be dead.

When it comes to closing, I suggest something with a “fuck you” attitude. Think of the times when you have left a gathering without really saying goodbye, and how everyone was put off by that. Here are some possible closing lines…

  • “I think I made my point.”
  • “If I cared, this would be longer.”
  • whatevs
  • TTYL

No matter how strong the urge, do not add a P.S. quip. It just looks desperate, and you don't want to seem desperate in a suicide note.

That's all from me. Now quit lolly-gaggin‘ and go end your life already!

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