A permanent solution for a temporary problem.

No matter who you are, no matter what your position is in life, no matter what you have accomplished or accumulated, one thing is certain: you will die. The only question is when.

Of course, you already know that, so why bother repeating it? Because we forget. I see it all around me, and I do it too. We live as if we knew that we would never die -  as if we have all the time in the world.

On the other hand, sometimes we feel like we have no hope and no choice, but to end it all. We get so focused on a problem, a TEMPORARY problem, that we forget everything else. We forget that today is tomorrow's past. We forget that time heals ALL wounds.

I am certainly no guru. I've said that many times, both in these pages and in real life. But I will say this: I know how it feels to be at the edge. I know how it feels be be totally hopeless and desperate. In the past, I did extremely drastic things too. The fact that I am still alive tells me that I am very lucky, and that I should share my luck.

I want to say that I'm glad I'm still alive, despite what I may have done in the past. When I look back now, I don't feel bad, guilty or stupid. I'm just glad that I'm still here. They say that there are no guarantees in life, but that's not true. Believe this: TIME HEALS ALL WOUNDS. I want you to know that if you are at a point right now when you feel totally hopeless, IT WILL PASS. It's important to know that, because suicide is permanent. You can't change your mind after it's done.

So you're having a bad day, a bad week, or even a few bad years. Guess what, you're not the only one. If you knew how people really feel, despite what they may show, you'd be amazed. Sometimes, the people who look the happiest are probably overcompensating for their deep sadness.  Because the truth is that life is made up of good and bad, sadness and joy. You couldn't tell the difference unless you experience them both. It's how you react that makes you who you are.

Do you know who you are? You are who you want to be. You have the power of choice. Free Will. You can decide whether you will kill or not. That's how powerful you are. Think about it.

Decide, right now, that no matter how bad things are, you will NOT kill yourself, ever. Make that promise. I did, and suicide is no longer an option for me, no matter what. Just by making that promise, you step into a new world of possibilities.

Start thinking in a new way. YOU HAVE THE POWER TO CHOOSE. You are powerful.

Maybe you don't feel powerful right now. But things change all the time. Remember a time when you felt good, and know that you can feel like that again. If you need help, get it. Go to a doctor. Tell them how you feel. There is no shame in seeking help when you need it. It's no different than if you had a heart attack or a broken bone. You would have NO hesitation to get help for that. Sadness, anxiety, stress, and all the terrible feelings that come with depression are no less serious than a heart attack. Depression is partly environmental, partly hereditary, but studies show that a shortage of seratonin in our system contributes to depression, and there are means for treating that. Taking antidepressants is no different than taking heart pills or medication for diabetes. There is no shame. 

Everybody has a story, and it's called LIFE. We all have ups and downs. We can hope to have more ups than downs, and we have to play the hand we're dealt. When you're at your worst, remember that after the rain, there is a rainbow. Everything is temporary.

In 1997, there was a wave of teenage suicides here in Quebec. No one wants to talk about it, but it did happen. At one school alone, six seemingly perfectly balanced kids killed themselves within two weeks. Nobody knows why.

Every day, all over your country and mine, and in all the countries of the world, people kill themselves because they are in a temporary state of desperation.

But remember:

  • Every problem has a solution.
  • Everything is temporary.

Suicide is a permanent solution for a temporary problem. Please remember that, and remind others too. 

Wishing only well,

Carmen Colombo

In loving memory of our beloved friends who wanted to live.

Rogerio Emanuel Miranda
November 29, 1960 - 
April 10, 1996

Nicolino Colombo
December 6, 1960 - November 10, 1996

Dr. Sandrah Nelson-Castro
October 2, 1958 - 
February 25, 2000

Still and Always in our hearts.


We have received numerous emails regarding this article, and wish to thank everybody, especially those who wrote to say that this article helped them, and those who knew our departed friends. Here are a few more details that we can provide about them. 

Sandrah Castro:

My friend Sandrah was very ill for about seven years and had been on the lung recipient list for over three years. Sandrah underwent a SUCCESSFUL lung transplant on January 5th 1998, but died of pneumonia two years later, on February 25th, 2000. She was doing well until she got a virus in January 2000, which her body was unable to fight. I got the news from her mother. I will remember that call forever.

Rogerio Miranda:

You may recognize Rogerio from his years as an international top model for Haute Couture Houses such as Yves St-Laurent, etc. He was also the identical twin of Carlos Miranda, and together they played the twin bodyguards in the Godfather Part Three (3). 

They also played in other movies together, including "CHRONIQUE D'UNE MORT ANNONCÉE", an Italian/French/Columbian Co-Production, (ITALIE | FRANCE | COLOMBIE) directed by Francesco Rosi, that was presented at the 1987 Cannes Film Festival. 

I have to say that it's quite a thrill to watch a movie with one of the main actors sitting right next to you, in your home base. But being with Rogerio was that easy. He was extraordinary, but he was just a regular guy. He was a true gentleman, something that sadly, is so rare these days. He was full of life and joy, and he never missed an opportunity to show love, and make you feel special. 

He had surgery on Friday, and was fine enough on Saturday to talk to my sister Maria to wish us all a Happy Easter, and to make visiting plans. But by late Easter Sunday, the following day, he was in a coma. My sister and me were at his bedside most of the last day of his life, until way after midnight. His twin brother, Carlos Miranda, called me at 10 AM on April 10, 1996 to say, "Roger is gone. He passed away at 9:45 AM".  There were no words. The Funeral Mass was on Thursday April 12, and then he was buried. Gone. Unbelievable. Only 35 years old, in the PRIME of his life.

Nicolino Colombo:

Nicolino was our cousin. He lived in Italy, but we were fortunate to meet twice. The first time was in Italy, when we were both in our teens, and had an instant "crush" on each other. For the few days I was in my hometown in Italy, we had a blast together. The only other time we met was in Florida in February 1994. He looked fabulous, healthy and vibrant. We were only together for about a week, because I had to return to Montreal, but he spent a month with my brother in Florida. My parents and sister were also in Florida, so it was a real family reunion. It was also a final goodbye that we never expected. He was also only 35 when he died, in November 1996, less than a month before his 36th birthday.

You Amaze Me (Tribute Poem)

Article by Carmen Colombo

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