Friday, March 18, 2016

The greatest tragedy of suicide . . .

. . . is that it leaves grieving people behind, often feeling immensely guilty that they didn't see what was about to happen in time to do anything about it.  That said, I've had to deal with more than a few suicides.  I understand - as well as anyone can who hasn't experienced it - the slowly dawning decision that "I can't take any more".  Indeed, at a couple of points in my life where the pain from my injuries was overwhelming, I found myself thinking precisely that.  I didn't act on it - according to the Christian moral code I espouse, suicide is simply not an option - but for the first time, I understood experientially why some people make that choice.  It wasn't a good place to be.  When mental illness such as depression is a factor in the situation, it's probably much, much worse.  There appears to be literally no way out . . . except one.

Dr. Grumpy, whom we've met in these pages before, has just lost his father to depression-induced suicide.  He's written two very moving, very introspective examinations of how his father must have felt, and how he feels at having lost him in that way.

I highly recommend reading them both - particularly if you have even the faintest inclination towards suicide yourself.  Go and learn what your decision will do to others.

May Dr. Grumpy's father rest in peace, and may his sins be forgiven him;  and may those he's left behind be comforted.  In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritu Sancti.  Amen.



Old NFO said...

Hard to read, but necessary. No words can express the sorrow one feels.

Anonymous said...

Suicide has several causes. There is escape from an agonizing death, desperation of being found out after hiding something and mental illness.

My cousin committed suicide many years ago. She had been thought by her parents of attending college for nursing, but she had actually dropped out and for several years only pretended to be going. Upon her graduation day, she committed suicide. Her parents had no clue - no one did.

She left a lot of people wondering why she had done that. I guess she just was afraid of letting them down.

Nate Winchester said...

There is also an unbearable logic to it. Like GK Chesterton said, a merely rational man cannot live.

It is also from the unbearable burden of self. That's probably the worst paradox because our instinct is to say "I like you" or "you're alright" which ends up pushing the suicidal further down that path as they get locked into a feedback loop of self-reflection. What often is best is "let us play" or "give me a hug" or talk about the game or a movie or just anything that gives them a moment out of the self. (this is why pets actually end up preventing suicides many times)

Of course that's all just help on the moment's edge. In the long run things will need to be dealt with and some things will probably need to change.

Quartermaster said...

A good friend committed suicide 5 years ago. It was completely unexpected for me as I was not living in the same area anymore. Turns out, the people who did live there didn't expect it either. It made no sense. I wasn't able to make the funeral because of the delay in getting the news. He shot himself exactly 7 days after I visited him.

Personally, I wanted to dig him up and kill him myself. Turns out I wasn't the only one. He left a number of angry friends behind.