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Years ago, a close friend came to me and told me her uncle was dead.

This was her "famous" uncle. The one who had been "missing" for decades.

None of his numerous siblings had any idea where he'd gone. Most feared the worst. Some had searched for years.

Then one day, one of them found him. Or rather, stumbled across his gravestone in a cemetery.

Turns out their mom had buried him there, secretly, decades before. He had killed himself, and out of embarrassment, she had kept her mouth shut, not even telling the family.

Suicide still has a stigma in today's world. But it happens all the time, especially in Colorado Springs. It affects none so much as those suffering from mental illness, particularly depression.

In this week's cover story, Ray Ring explores the loss of his "crazy" older brother to suicide. Ring's story is about frustration, love and regret. And it sends a distinct message: This is a real problem that can threaten those we hold dear.

Maybe we should get over our shame and fight for their lives.

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