Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Goodbye to Nicholas Hughes

I was surprised to see Sylvia Plath's name in the "In the News" sidebar on Google News this morning, and then sad when I learned why. Plath's son, Nicholas Hughes, just killed himself, 46 years after his mother's suicide. While the post I just linked cautions against considering him an "inevitably tragic figure," I imagine the suicide of a parent is a wound that never goes away.

I remember reading Plath in college and writing an insufferably arrogant essay about how "self-indulgent" her poetry was. I was still a teenager then, and not much had happened to me; I am not as quick now to shrug off people's deep pain and struggles. Clearly her son had his own pain and struggles. This article about his death doesn't even include his own picture, but hers. I prefer this one, which describes his own achievements apart from being the son of a famous poet who died when he was a year old.


Janet said...

Very sad. His achievements are impressive.

I know what you mean about the "insufferable arrogance" of things we said or thought in the past. Next year I'm sure what I wrote this year will make me cringe.

Tricia said...

I'm really disappointed that the news stories would include her picture but not his - at the very least, put both. Thank you for finding one that talked about his life! I'd heard the headline version of this on the radio, but not any details. (For example, I didn't realize he was a biologist in Fairbanks - we have a collaborator on a project in the planning stages who is at UAF. Small world!)