Monday, May 23, 2011

AFSP honors Paige, among others

I was pleasantly surprised to see that Denver Post columnist and ESPN agitator Woody Paige was the recipient of the Public Education Award at the 2011 Lifesavers Dinner last week. The dinner is a fundraiser and award ceremony for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and was hosted by Joan and Melissa Rivers (Joan's husband Edgar committed suicide in 1987).
Paige was recognized for an eye-opening column he wrote in 2010 that included the admission that he had been suicidal in the past. The story is a must-read - Paige profiles the suicide of Denver Broncos wide receiver Kenny McKinley. McKinley was a star player from Cobb County (GA) before playing college football at the University of South Carolina.

I know an older man who eight years ago this month was committed to committing suicide.
The last, desperate, despondent, despicable act was all planned out. The Broncos were playing on Sunday, Sept. 15, 2002, against the 49ers. I would fly into San Francisco the day before, drive up to Napa Valley, enjoy a bottle of expensive red wine and check into a nice inn. The next morning I would head over to the coast and swim out in the Pacific Ocean far enough that I couldn't make it back to the beach.

My death would be termed an "accidental drowning," and my family and few friends would be horrified, but spared the humiliation.

-Woody Paige, DENVER POST (9.23.10)