Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Woman writes touchingly honest obit for sister to help those battling with depression

eleni.jpg

A woman has written a touchingly honest obituary for her sister in the hope of helping others who are suffering from depression.

Eleni Pinnow, from Wisconsin, penned the obituary for her younger sister Aletha, who committed suicide last month aged 31 after battling with the disease for years.

The obituary, published in the Duluth News Tribune, described how Aletha was "her family's whole entire world" but "a battle with depression made her innate glow invisible to her and she could not see how desperately loved and valued she was".

Now, Eleni Pinnow has told The Washington Post how she hopes the emotional tribute will encourage others with depression to "choose to live".

depression

Describing the moment that police confirmed her sister was dead, she said, "What followed that stark statement was a sudden moment of lucidity in which only one thing mattered: the truth. I had to be honest. I had to tell the truth."

The truth, Pinnow said, is that depression lies. 

"Depression lied to my sister, told her that she was worthless. A burden. Unlovable. Undeserving of life," Pinnow said. 

"After years of the lies and the torment, my sister believed that depression told her the truth. In the notes she left for my parents and me, Aletha wrote, 'don’t feel sad, I’m not worth it.' She was so wrong."

The statistics relating to depression estimate it affects 350 million people worldwide, with less than half that number receiving treatment. One million people take their own lives due to depression every year, and here in the UK we have one of the highest self-harming rates in Europe.

Eleni Pinnow and her sister Aletha

Eleni Pinnow and her sister Aletha (image courtesy of Eleni Pinnow's Facebook)

Now, Pinnow hopes that sharing her sister's tragic story will "urge others to distrust the voice of depression".

"Here is the truth: You have value," she writes. "You have worth. You are loved. Trust the voices of those who love you.

"Trust the enormous chorus of voices that say only one thing: You matter."

depression

 

In remembrance of her sister, Eleni Pinnow has started a scholarship fund at Wisconsin University, where she is currently an associate professor. You can find out more information and donate here.

If you, or anyone you know, is struggling with depression you can find more information at mind.org.uk

Related

rexfeatures_5541875cy.jpg

Hayden Panettiere: post-partum depression is not a fake condition

308_feat_prickly_lead.jpg

Why are we all so prickly nowadays?

rexfeatures_4627340g.jpg

J.K. Rowling offers touching advice to a fan suffering depression

dream.jpg

The real meanings behind our surreal but common dreams

woman-sollitude1.jpg

Illustrator captures the beauty of being single

depression.JPG

“I'm not faking it”: woman's mental illness selfie goes viral

rexfeatures_5490355l.jpg

Lena Dunham challenges the stigma of women taking anti-depressants

Katie_Piper5181A_rt.jpg

Katie Piper on the healing power of poetry and writing

happiness balloon.jpg

This is the optimum age for happiness in the UK

Comments

More

Two thirds of us wouldn't recognise the symptoms of ovarian cancer

Would you be able to identify the telltale signs?

by Hayley Spencer
29 Mar 2017

Watch this moving video about representation in the arts

This dance company hopes to inspire young African American girls

29 Mar 2017

Lego builder: it's a real job and you can apply for it

Legoland is hiring a model designer

by Amy Swales
29 Mar 2017

A man has been cleared of sexual assault because he didn’t ‘enjoy’ it

Diego Cruz Alonso, 21, was found not guilty of assault on Monday.

by Moya Crockett
29 Mar 2017

“Dating with bipolar: how I learnt to be open about my mental health”

One writer's frank account of opening up to a new partner

29 Mar 2017

Watch hilarious video that debunks idea women are bad at maths

The 1980s-inspired send-up encourages women to pursue STEM careers

29 Mar 2017

Sexist tube ad comparing a woman to a house extension taken down

But it shouldn't have been made in the first place.

by Hayley Spencer
29 Mar 2017

Watch the chilling new trailer for Netflix's Casting JonBenét

The film set to drop on April 28th

29 Mar 2017

This is how much your old Sylvanian Families toys are worth on eBay

(Hint: it’s a LOT)

by Kayleigh Dray
29 Mar 2017

Love Actually fans, there’s another sequel in the works

And this time, Laura Linney is making a comeback

by Kayleigh Dray
29 Mar 2017