I posted a piece of flash yesterday, a suicide, and it sparked a thought. Hadn’t I written about this before? So last night’s post prompted a hunt. It was called Wasted Potential. It sat in Drafts for months, because it was on such a sensitive subject, I wanted the wording just so. When I finally published, it was immediately misinterpreted. I was incredulous but I saw the lack of clarity when I reread it this morning.
The subject I had wanted to discuss was suicide, but I was a noob, I wanted to explain my back-story, a big part of which is my daughter. I conflated the two. The original post was so bad, I thought I should rewrite it. So, here goes:
Many of the issues we had with daughter growing up weren’t relevant, but one thing that was was that, aged thirteen, her classmate hanged herself.
There are various scenarios where I think suicide is a reasonable option. A terminal illness, or even persistent mental torment. Stop the train I want to get off.
However, I didn’t (don’t) think that thirteen was anywhere near old enough to make a sound judgement. This girl never even gave herself a chance. Try living some: relationships, marriage, divorce, children, then if you decide to go, fair enough. But not at thirteen. I remember just how screwed-up I was, back then.
For other people, though, I not only thought/think that it might be a rational choice, but that if somebody has made that decision, it seems cruel of society to try to stop them. This also ties in with one of the original comments, “a permanent fix to a temporary problem”. That’s a cliché and we need to give people credit. Nobody takes suicide lightly, and it is more of “a permanent fix to a permanent problem”. What right has our view to take precedence over theirs?
A while ago now, one of my friends posted about suicide – she specifically highlighted male suicide. It was a very objective accont, facts and figures. In addition, the TV News a few days ago presented an article about veterans’ suicides, so I thought it might be useful to publish my own experiences. Truth be…
This is a really difficult issue, Pete, but I’m libertarian enough to agree with you…
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Such a delicate topic. I think that, by the time somebody thinks suicide is their best option, they are no longer thinking like you or me, Mister Bump. To say that 13 year old didn’t make a sound judgement, feels very odd to me. She must’ve been incredibly distressed and depressed. We can’t say her troubles were harder or easier than an adults troubles. Only that she didn’t know how to cope with them. Anything a person doesn’t know how to cope with is bloody hard for that person. And, as Sue said, it’s likely they feel worthless and like a burden on their family. I have never been suicidal (thank goodness) but as I get older I am trying to be more empathetic about it. A family friend suicided and left partner and five kids and a lot of debt. I thought it was very selfish, especially because one of the kids found the body. But a work colleague (who had attempted suicide twice) was furious with me for expressing it that way. I think there is life beyond a suicidal intention if a person has the love and support around them to get them through the awful patch. In the case of a terminal illness, hopefully people won’t have to suicide for too much longer. But in most other cases, it doesn’t surprise me that loving families want their loved ones to have the chance to find beauty in life and relationships again.
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I’m sorry but what you just said is that the wishes of the loving family override the wishes of the individual. No. (as in, I disagree.)
I further disagree that somebody who is suicidal is, by definition, not thinking properly. However anybody is thinking, we have no right to impose our values onto them. Your instinct that says “they must stay alive” is no more valid than theirs which says “I must die”.
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Sorry. 🙂 I don’t think I said the wishes of the loving family override. I think I said I understand their wishes to give the life “a second chance”. And I also didn’t say they’re not thinking properly. They’re thinking differently. As in they might be suffering from a mental illness or severe stress.i can no more think like a person with severe depression than I can think like a person who believes deeply in God. So all I am saying is, I don’t judge a person for suiciding (is of course they may make that decision) but I also don’t think it’s unnatural or selfish to wonder if we (the people on earth) could have made their lives happier so that suicide wasn’t the logical conclusion.
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