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What a downer of an article

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Grieving her 11-year-old daughter's suicide
Father's brush with police, bullies' taunts and threats to her new puppy gradually sapped a Winnipeg girl of the will to live

By JULIUS STRAUSS
Friday, October 7, 2005 Page A1

WINNIPEG -- For 11-year-old Kathleen Beardy it was all simply too much.

First she watched as her father Kelly was handcuffed and dragged from the family home by two police officers.

Then she was forced to endure the seemingly endless taunts of neighbourhood bullies in her tough Winnipeg district.

Finally, her delight when she bought a small puppy for $2 turned to dismay as bullies made off with her new pet, telling her they would sell it. Sapped of the will to live, last Saturday evening Kathleen climbed onto a pile of gravel and, looping the puppy's leash around the low-lying bough of an elm tree, hanged herself.

At first, when her friends saw her, they thought she was fooling around. "Come down, the joke is over," one of them cried to her.

It was only as they came closer they realized what she had done and began to scream in terror. One of the neighbourhood toughs even tried, and failed, to untie her.

By the time her mother, Christina Beardy, arrived several minutes later, Kathleen was dead.

"The police were there," Ms. Beardy said. "They asked if I was family but I didn't know who they were talking about. When I realized it was Kathleen there I just starting shouting 'Oh please no!' "

At the very least the tragedy of Kathleen Beardy is a terrible insight into the brutality of life on the streets of Canada's inner cities.

According to local media reports, both her mother and father were remanded by police early last week, leaving Kathleen and four other siblings in the care of her pregnant sister Beverly, 17, for several days.

But what has made the case overtly political is that Kathleen's family said the girl had witnessed the allegedly brutal and unwarranted arrest of her father a week before her death, which sowed the seeds of her mental torment.

After the injuries, he complains of increasing headaches and pains in his legs. The skin is still missing from his knees and pictures held by his lawyer show abrasions to his upper body.

Meanwhile Ms. Beardy has spent the week struggling to arrange Kathleen's funeral. The cost of the service is a little more than $5,500 but she said so far she has only raised about $1,600.

"I asked provincial welfare for help but they said they only provide money for food and shelter, not for grieving," she said.

On Tuesday, Ms. Beardy took her children to dress Kathleen's body.

They tied a sash to her forehead, coloured her lips with gloss and pulled on her favourite dancing dress.

The family also made a collage of photographs of Kathleen's short life. One showed her standing next to a frozen Lake Winnipeg smiling. Another showed her at a bible school.

While searching for more photographs, Ms. Beardy came across Kathleen's status card.

"She was proud to be an Indian and very interested in our traditions," Ms. Beardy said. "She believed in both aboriginal culture and the Bible.

"She loved going to church."

In keeping with her Christian faith, Kathleen's body was laid out in an open white casket decorated with pink silk at the Aboriginal Funeral Chapel on Wednesday night.

Honouring aboriginal tradition, Ms. Beardy carefully cut long, plaited braids from her own head and those of her daughters and laid them in the coffin.

At the spot where Kathleen died, a shabby back alley between abandoned houses strewn with old bits of roofing, friends and neighbours set up a small shrine to mark her death.

The pile of gravel she used to kill herself was covered with teddy bears -- brown, white and pink -- and handwritten messages from well-wishers and classmates.

At the site, Winnipeggers of all ethnicities came to pay their respects.

A traditional aboriginal fire was lit under a thin plywood shelter to protect it from the first snowfall of the season. The bullies returned the puppy to the family.

Mary Sinclair, Kathleen's grandmother, had flown to Winnipeg from Victoria when she heard the news. She said: "We would never have thought it of Kathleen. She was always so good and so lively and she never seemed to have any problems. Maybe we just didn't know what was going on inside."
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A lot of sensationalism.

This is going to sound really callous, but shit happens. It's sad the little girl was too weak and lacking in selfconfidence to cope.
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A lot of sensationalism.

This is going to sound really callous, but shit happens.  It's sad the little girl was too weak and lacking in selfconfidence to cope.

[post="25675"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]



You are a jerk... plain and simple. A girl died needlessly. Period. Sometimes you need to see things emotionally and not so calously. As a self proclaimed Christian you should be offering prayer and concern...

My regards to her family. Many kids these days seem to have issues with bullies. It is my own personal opinion that this is the society that was brought up without corpral punisment. You reap what you sow... Edited by SingleStylish
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It's sad the little girl was too weak and lacking in selfconfidence to cope.

[post="25675"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


No, its sad that some asswipes would steal her pet puppy.

Unless you've lived a similar situation, you have no idea how you would cope, so don't judge so quickly.

I believe we all know people who have come close to suicide and if we were to tell the stories, some of them would seem trivial - breaking up with a cheating boyfriend or having a car vandalized - but you don't know the situations the belie them.
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Um, that's what I said...it's sad she lacked the emotional stability to cope. Suicide is never an answer as far as I'm concerned. It is an ending, and an extremely selfish one at that. I've never seen the "solution" in reacting to my own deep inner pain by inflicting it on those who are closest to me. And yes, I was bullied at one point, quite severely actually, and it required a bit of therapy, but I had the inner strength to endure and the self-confidence to know I was worth something. So, yes, I have "been there." Again, it is sad that she felt compelled to do what she did, but at the same time I feel far more sorry for her family because I have a hard time feeling sorry for people who do something that selfish.
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Again, it is sad that she felt compelled to do what she did, but at the same time I feel far more sorry for her family because I have a hard time feeling sorry for people who do something that selfish.

[post="25847"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


As you develop, you reach a point of maturity where you realize that one of the consequences of suicide is that you place a large burden on people you care about and care about you, regadless if its one person or many. For people who understand that and commit suicide, they figure their own personal 'relief' is worth more to them than the arduousness of coping and not placing others in distress.

I'm not quite sure if an eleven year old realizes that completely.
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Look, I might have been advanced at my age, but I realized that when I was 8. I'm not going to go into detail of my bullying experience because frankly it is nobody's business, but let me assure you it was bad enough for me to resume bedwetting at 7...after being "trained" for a good three years. I hated going to school, and would get so nervous at the prospect of going that I would vomit almost every morning. Living down the nickname "barf bag" wasn't easy...
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A lot of sensationalism.

This is going to sound really callous, but shit happens.  It's sad the little girl was too weak and lacking in selfconfidence to cope.

[post="25675"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


Just a reminder of what you really said now that you are waffling on your origional meaning

WEAK
shit happens
lacking in self confidence

I would consider throwing up before school kinda weak

I say it requires great strenght to truely take ones own life. Self confidence to get the heck out of here and hopefully on to a better palce.

Not the crying for help or attention efforts but the real ones like this girl might have done. Im sure there were far more reasons leading to such a thing. Not just the two highlighted. I believe they were significant to push someone to the point where they were ready to check out.

I believe more people dont do it because they are scared to or dont want to make a mess for someone else to clean up.

Sensationalism, on the part of the press maybe but the death of a child normally brings out extreme emotions which would be viewed as sensationalism by uninvolved parties as well as those with issues.

I do agree with one posters remarks but I actually have better more appropriate terms.
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I say it requires great strenght to truely take ones own life. Self confidence to get the heck out of here and hopefully on to a better palce.

I believe more people dont do it because they are scared to or dont want to make a mess for someone else to clean up.

[post="25888"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


You live in a reality that's of your own. It's not strength that pushes anyone to suicide. It's complete desperation to end one's own pain, fear, and/or suffering brought on by the inability to persevere. That is, if they're sane to begin with.

Prove me wrong and knock yourself out. :P

You know I'm joking... I'm not really asking you to commit suicide for the sake of an argument.
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You live in a reality that's of your own. It's not strength that pushes anyone to suicide. It's complete desperation to end one's own pain, fear, and/or suffering brought on by the inability to persevere. That is, if they're sane to begin with.

Prove me wrong and knock yourself out.  :P

You know I'm joking... I'm not really asking you to commit suicide for the sake of an argument.

[post="25902"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


Yes indeed you are 100% correct, except for the fear thing, these people are afraid of nothing at that point in life. Then after that it takes strenght to throw in the towel. Most that dont, dont because they are too scared to die or self inflict pain, fear of the unknown. Sorry I dont think Im wrong nor do I think Im insane. I am aware of my somewhat different views but I somehow always come up more on the accurate side of reality. I dont know much about it but this was an accepted part of many Asian cultures, I dont think fear or weakness allows a man to stick a sword into his belly and give her a shake. But what do I know.

thanks for your suggestion but as Im sure you can see I make my own decisions on my own time. B)
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I dont know much about it but this was an accepted part of many Asian cultures, I dont think fear or weakness allows a man to stick a sword into his belly and give her a shake. But what do I know.

[post="25906"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


Oh, it can be called strength for some. Many kamikaze pilots sacrificed themselves out of pride and dedication to their nation and their cause. But fear was at the foundation of Seppuku - fear of being shamed by your superiors, your underlings, your peers, and your ancestors. Most recently, that was bolstered by fear of pain, experimentation, and torture - things that would be done to soldiers captured by Americans during WWII, at least according to their officers.

Pride and strength made the Japanese fight with great intensity and ferocity. But fear made them commit ritual suicide in the face of defeat.
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I agree with Flybrian...at 11 years old, I don't think she fully understood the consquences of taking her own life. Sensationalism or not, this was a sad story, and I hope those bullies truly regret what pain they caused this family.
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To kind of expand of Fly’s statement…

When one is under the influence of a particular culture, religion, belief, a form of brainwashing, etc... and is COMMANDED or PERSUADED to perform a suicide mission of any sort (suicide bombing, kamikaze, etc) for the preservation of their beliefs AND their own soul... that goes into an entirely OTHER realm of existence or plain of reality.

One part is defense: Defending their beliefs, life style, loved ones, country, etc
One part fear: Fear of being dishonored, fear of losing their own or their family's eternal salvation by their Deity.

I don't feel this unique type of suicide is responsible for this little girl's death. Nor do I believe it’s a contributing factor to those who call the Suicide Help Line. :huh:
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