After Mass a cupla weeks ago I joined other parishioners in the Hall for tea. Some items were being sold for the Missions. I bought a wee book about diabetes for a few quid. I'm on my own since 1989 - after 19 years with my partner - so I like now & again to have a word or two in a 'safe space' with other folks. What happened shortly after I collected a cup of tea and joined two ladies at a wee table took my breath away, left me shocked and saddened, and to a degree quite angry within myself. Neither lady knew me by name nor I them. So we introduced ourselves. The inevitable 'And what do you do, Philip?' friendly enquiry was raised after the ladies briefly explained their raison d'etre that day. Since I quit college/univ teaching 5 years ago, having 'escaped' in 1998 from my major pension-building 'career', and thereafter engaged in counselling/psychotherapy/suicidology via research & private practice, I'm inclined to say: 'I'm a therapist these days'. Unsurprisingly, on that day, the ladies wondered - as is sometimes the case - what sort of therapy. In no time at all, mention of my two suicide research projects (2001 & 2010) in our local univ's school of psychology led to the disclosure by the ladies of the particular circumstances a 12 year old schoolgirl's sudden death some days earlier. Sometime later I found a brief report on page 2 of a local morning paper (Irish News 21 May 2019) headlined 'Tributes paid to schoolgirl (12)'. The news report said the poor kid had 'died suddenly over the weekend'. The above mentioned ladies knew little more than the press reporter but the scant information known or rumoured about the tragedy led us, that Sunday morning, to lament somewhat inconclusively our northern Irish 'suicide epidemic'. I'll write more about all of this soon. It's particularly galling that despite the extensive local, and massive global research bank of relevant data, research, professional insights like Joiner's much admired 'Why People Die by Suicide' (2005), and more theories about suicide than you could shake a stick at, we're still unable to do much about the brutal cruelty implicit in human self-slaughter. I join with others in offering most sincere condolences to all this wee girl's family, friends, school chums, teachers, and neighbours regarding their incalculable loss.