Back in May, Margot Kidder died at her home in Montana at the age of 69. At the time of her death, the Park County Attorney reported that an unknown person called 911 after finding Margot unresponsive in her house. Margot’s manager Camilla Fluxman Pines claimed that she had died peacefully in her sleep, but authorities said they were going to investigate. A statement was released by the Park County coroner yesterday, and they’ve determined the cause of death to be suicide, specifically a “self-inflicted drug and alcohol overdose.” The coroner wasn’t specific, but they don’t really need to be; whatever the culprit, it’s still a pile of sadness.
This is the kind of news that might make some people’s coffee taste just a little more bitter today, but not Margot’s daughter Maggie McGuane. Maggie spoke to AP on the phone about her mother’s suicide, and she says she knew the moment authorities took her to her mother’s house that it was the result of a suicide. And it’s something she wants people to talk openly about.
“It’s a big relief that the truth is out there,” she said. “It’s important to be open and honest so there’s not a cloud of shame in dealing with this.”
Maggie also mentioned that the state of Montana has one of the highest suicide rates in the US, adding that “knowing how many families in this state go through this, I wish that I could reach out to each one of them.” Margot Kidder was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in the 90s, and was very open about her own mental illness. A joint statement released by the coroner’s office and her family urges “those suffering from mental illnesses, addiction and/or suicidal thoughts to seek appropriate counseling and treatment.”
I think it’s really healthy that Margot’s family isn’t afraid or ashamed to say it was a suicide. People can get really weird and uncomfortable when it comes to death, and some have extremely strange ways of describing it. One time I went to a funeral, and someone called the death “the event,” but in a weird, whispered way. I want to believe Margot Kidder, who truly said what she meant, might have whispered back: “Honey, please – it’s a dead person, not the plot of Superman IV.”