As we are absorbing the shock and sadness of Sam Wopat’s death, holding one another close and trying to hold conversations about what it means to be a community, we learned of another poignant loss in our Stanford family. With great sadness, we learned from her father that on the day she was to return for spring quarter, Cady Hine died.
Cady entered Stanford in 2005 and having stopped out several times, she had returned to major in English. We came to know and admire her as a brave and forthright advocate for student wellness. Cady was frequently in attendance at the grief group organized by the Office for Religious Life, Residential Education and Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), to provide a time and space for students who are mourning to be together, to acknowledge their struggles, to help one another through the parallel universes of sunny Stanford and dark loss. Cady came to the grief group following the suicide of her mother. She did not sugarcoat the circumstances of her death. On the contrary, she was passionate about reducing the stigma associated with mental illness. Cady co-founded Stanford Peace of Mind to expand awareness about mental health issues, to create dialogue about the cost of high achievement and perfectionism and to enable those struggling with mental illness to thrive. She was forthright about her own bipolar diagnosis and hospitalization. Raising awareness and decreasing the stigma of mental health distress was one significant part of her commitment. Literally, putting her body where her mouth is, was another. When four high school students in Palo Alto took their own lives at the train tracks a short distance from Stanford, Cady became a volunteer with Track Watch, patrolling the railroad crossing to be a visible manifestation of the community’s concern for young people. She understood that restricting the most available means to die by one’s own hand is a significant way to reduce tragedy.
Many of us admired how passionate Cady was about making Stanford and Palo Alto a better, safer, more humane place. It was not always easy to listen to her. We prefer the airbrushed picture to the untouched close up. Cady sometimes made people uncomfortable by her honesty, yet, even as she named the shortcomings of our community and our culture, her generous soul and inspiring intentions always shone through. In her honor, as part of the legacy of her brief but passionate life, let us become the community she envisioned – one that is unafraid to acknowledge our imperfections, one that reaches out to those in need with generosity, one where reaching out is welcomed as a sign of strength and health and not as a measure of weakness. We will miss you Cady, but we will try to become a Stanford where students, staff and faculty can indeed feel and foster peace of mind.
Senior Associate Dean for Religious Life
Senior Associate Director, Consultation and Liaison, Counseling and Psychological Services
Director of the Arts in Residential Education
Students are encouraged to consult these resources:
grief.stanford.edu (a virtual memorial website)
The next grief group will take place on Thursday, May 3 at 5:30 – 7:00 at Vaden. Dinner will be served.
“Honoring Lives, Remembering Losses: An Interfaith Ritual of Remembrance”
Thursday, May 31 4 p.m.
The Sanctuary in the CIRCLE
Old Union, 3rd floor
You are invited to join the following listservs: