Fighting Over Mary Kennedy’s Body
Suicide is the great iconoclast. We have a certain view of a person and then that certain view becomes uncertain with the event of suicide, and the whole world seems to shake.
Right now the Kennedy family is having their world shaken… again.
Joseph (1888 – 1969) and Rose (1890 – 1995) Kennedy had nine children. Out of those nine children, Joseph Jr. died when his plane exploded during WWII; Katherine died in a commercial plane crash in 1948; John (JFK) was assassinated in 1963; Robert was assassinated in 1968; Rosemary, who was “mentally ill”, lived an incapacitated life due to a failed frontal lobotomy in 1941; Patricia died an alcoholic in 2006; Senator Edward “Ted” survived a plane crash and major car crash only to succumb to cancer.
Eunice – the founder of “The Special Olympics” – died a peaceful death. And Jean remains the only surviving 2nd generation Kennedy.
The untimely deaths of the Kennedy family have arguably been the most documented deaths of the TV era. First, there was JFK, whose death was recorded with cameras. Then there was the shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald … the first murder to ever be recorded on live TV.
Robert’s death caused media frenzy and John Jr.’s plane crash in 1999 garnered the world’s attention.
And on May 16, 2012, Robert Jr.’s estranged wife Mary committed suicide.
Suicide through overdose, gunshot wound and carbon monoxide asphyxiation are considerably timid forms of suicide when compared with the way Mary killed herself.
Overdose, gunshot wounds and carbon monoxide are one step methods that sometimes result from impulsive moments of considerable darkness. But, hanging oneself. This is a whole different method of suicide.
In many ways, it is the most premeditated form of self murder. Unlike other methods, you must find the right place to hang yourself; you have to bring with you the appropriate rope; tie the rope tightly enough to hold your weight and either kick the chair out from under your feet, or pick up your feet off the floor. And yes, I’ve seen the suicides where the deceased opted against a chair and simply lifted their feet.
Suicide by hanging is a statement suicide. It’s a suicide meant for others. Suicide by overdose and gunshot is usually an “I just want to end it” method … not so with hanging.
Mary hung herself. She was making a statement.
In Mary’s case, it would seem that her suicide that was aimed at her husband and was a “this is what you did to me” statement. Her friends and family stated explicitly that her depression coincided with her husband’s marital unfaithfulness and calloused behavior.
Mary’s body was almost late to the funeral service as litigation between Mary’s estranged, but still legal husband and Mary’s siblings fought over custody. As is the law, Robert Jr. is the legal next of kin, even though estranged (he’s currently dating actress Cheryl Hines) and so had the right to do what he wished. And in his selfishness, he did as he wished. Apparently, his well documented egotism wasn’t affected by Mary’s final statement.
Some suicides are the result of mental illness. Others from pure selfishness. And yet others are the last cry for help. A cry that goes unanswered.
Friend, if you see signs in any of your family and friends, listen. And you may find that their hurts and pains are based on real and actual problems. Problems that might be caused by you.
Listen. It just might help save a life.