I have lost about ten friends from Principia…

By Stacey, an Ex-Christian Scientist Group contributor.

I went on a Prin Abroad my senior year at Principia College. There were four men and about twenty women. One of the men on the trip committed suicide a year after the trip, another died of measles three years later, and a third died about ten years later.

As you know, when you spend over three months with people, you get to know them well. I was shocked when the suicide happened, and I wondered if I had missed any clues. I don’t know if the suicide rate for Christian Scientists is higher than the average, but I think that reluctance or guilt in seeking medical treatment contributes to the problem.

I have lost about ten friends from Principia including a very good friend who had been sick for almost a year. I didn’t have a chance to tell her how much I cared for her since I didn’t know about the situation until after she was gone. There was no service. Those still in Christian Science just don’t understand how cruel this is to everyone else.

Two weeks ago, I went on the Prin Alumni online directory and found an email for the last surviving male on the trip. We have reconnected, and I am looking forward to more conversations with him.

One Reply to “I have lost about ten friends from Principia…”

  1. I did not attend Principia College, but I have relatives who did. Prin doesn’t publish “in memoriam” submissions anymore. My own college publishes “in memoriam” posts, and though I am young to have classmates pass away, I am grateful to have been notified of the very few who have passed.

    One relative who attended Principia College and passed away, will have no broad notice of their passing. A private gathering, notification to a few known friends, and then they quietly slip away. There may be classmates who would like to have been able to reach out to each other and to family to share memories. But only a few are known by name to the family. This relative was a practicing Christian Scientist. This lack of broad notice may be how my relative probably wanted it. We don’t really know. But we do know that this is how the Christian Science branch of our family wants it.

    When I come across the rare obituary or public note regarding a Principia alum or professor who has passed on, I am jealous of those who had the ability to share. To notice. To know.

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