An acquaintance of mine recently committed suicide. Everyone I know is incredibly broken up by this.
I feel nothing.
I handle death differently than most that I know. Death inevitably comes with life and I don’t see it as anything but natural. What will be worse for me is when it does hit and I start thinking about my own mortality. I don’t believe in an afterlife. There is life, and there is the void of nonexistence. I literally feel a drop in the pit of my stomach at the contemplation of utter nonexistence. Spending any great amount of time thinking about this will drop me into an almost paralyzing anxiety. Afterwards, I waver between a reckless need to experience everything in life because this is the only one I have, and clinging to that which is safe but makes me enjoy life all the more, but can cause me to hermit. I may be reckless, or structured to stabilize. Now, I don’t know. I guess I’ll see.
While my friends are screaming about how selfish he was, how could he do this to his friends, his family, why didn’t he ask for help, anger, etc. I can empathize. I have a slightly different perspective on suicide as I’ve contemplated it so often, for so long. I’m sure he did ask for help. For years. Doubtful, this was a quick decision. When you are loved, and still, all you feel is the oppression of hopelessness, there is nothing more to look forward to. Nothing tying you to this plane. Death is a release. The only escape from the pain. It may be selfish, but not understanding, not forgiving someone a release from a life lived in misery because you feel a loss, is selfish too. What makes one act of selfishness, more relevant than another? Who’s to say.
When you tell people you want it all to end, and they cry about how it will make everyone else feel, all this does is add guilt on top of pain. I’m sure there’s the undertone of ‘all these people love you, you have so much to be grateful for’ there, but that’s not how it feels. It’s becomes just one more reason why you suffer and create suffering for those around you.
I can only wonder if he found the release he clearly needed so desperately. I feel no sadness just a sort of resigned understanding.
Most of my friends don’t know how tenuous my hold to my life can be some days. I don’t talk about it. But I understand the need. I can’t feel sad about his decision to end his life. While I understand why his friends and family miss him, I don’t understand the thoughts that he was selfish and inconsiderate. The pain caused to others in the wake of the event I understand. To me it seems like people are forgetting that for someone to make this decision, they pain they have lived with for so long masks the future in only more crippling pain. Why would you want someone to live like that for your own sake? That, to me, is selfish.
There’s too little life to waste it on things that make you unhappy. Let go. Forgive. Move on. Reconcile. Release. Find things that make you happy. There is no second chance to live.