Read a Minneapolis teacher’s poignant, honest obituary

Not so for Kelly Norden, whose death announcement starts off stating simply that Norden, “age 42, took her own life on October 3.” 

Norden, who’d worked as a special education teacher at Edison High School, is survived by her husband, Jason, two step-sons, and both of her parents. She went to Park Center High School in Brooklyn Park and Augsburg College, and had started working at Edison, where she specialized in autism, in 2005. 

“Everyone loved Kelly and remember her as a fierce advocate for students and a gifted teacher,” reads the obituary. “Kelly struggled with mental health concerns for much of her adult life and worked hard to be healthy and live life fully. The year 2020, brought an overabundance of challenges that shook Kelly’s world and she fought to win the battle.”

Norden was a “good listener” and “absolutely stylish,” and known for her appreciation for mochas and bing-watching episodes of the Office. The obituary then quotes from Norden’s suicide note:

“May you all be safe; May you all be happy; May you all be healthy; May you all live with ease.”

No in-person memorial service will be held, in light of the pandemic, though memorials can go to the family or to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached at 1-800-273-TALK(8255), and in Minnesota, local mental health crisis response services can be reached by searching for your county here.


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