As news of this has trickled out to the mainstream media slowly, I'm sure some of have perhaps heard that Nicholas Hughes died on the 16th of this month at his own hands. Nicholas was of course the second of two children born to Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes.
He was in 46 and made his home in Fairbanks Alaska when he was a prominent fish biologist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Not surprisingly he inherited his fathers fondness for fishing and nature.
His passing might have only made the local papers, but the the word of his suicide made the news around the U.S. and across the Atlantic in Europe as well. He was after all the son of Sylvia and Ted. There is so much tragedy associated with the family already and this will only rekindle the debates about his mothers death.
Nicholas was less in the limelight than his sister Frieda who like her mother wrote poetry and and painted as a serious artist herself. In a statement by Frieda released as she departed for Fairbanks she noted that her brother had been battling depression for some time.
Already I've seen stories that have popped up talking about a "suicide gene." There is statistically a high percentage of suicides among individuals who have lost a family member to suicide, but so far not real scientific evidence that links the act directly to genetics. It is true that the conditions, both environmental and by some predisposition to depression may increase the tendency but that linkage is more indirect.