Memorial masks the tragic end of HST’s life |

Memorial masks the tragic end of HST’s life

It was a blast fit for a legend.The blast came from an enormous cannon with Hunter S. Thompson’s trademark fist with two thumbs. The cannon, filled with the famous writer’s ashes, towered 153 feet into the sky near Woody Creek. Two feet taller than the Statue of Liberty, the cannon, along with the entire event, was an in-your-face example of Thompson’s life, which was one of extremes.It was a glorious send-off for the writer, whose devoted fans reveled in such a grand finale.Unfortunately, the circus-like HST memorial completely overshadowed how Thompson ended his life.On Feb. 21, the king of Gonzo Journalism put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger. A life over at 67. It was a sad day.For most, the HST memorial on Aug. 20 was a happy occasion celebrating an amazing literary life.Few suicides lead to happy finales.Sensationalizing the life of a legendary writer may have been a great way to honor Thompson, but for others, suicide isn’t a cause for celebration.The reality and pain suicide creates for family and friends is usually a horrible ordeal that leaves an emotional scar for years.The glamorous spectacle of HST’s blastoff put an exclamation point on the end of a famous life. For others who have had to endure the pain of a loved one’s suicide, question marks, not exclamation points, are the reality.In the aftermath of HST’s memorial, it should not be forgotten that this was a suicide – a tragic way to end a life.It may have been a fitting way to say goodbye to Thompson, but for most, suicide is a tragedy that leaves a scar far more profound than a blast from a 153-foot cannon.

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