They say suicide is selfish …


You know, I have known more than a few people who have cried “oh they’ll miss me when I’m gone and they will regret not loving me/ not caring enough/ not paying me attention”.  And none of those people have actually done it.  It’s a cry for help.  Not one that should go unheeded, mind you, but a cry nonetheless.  And a place you can start again.

The ones you need to watch for are the ones who, step by step, start putting their lives in order, start typing out wills, start rehoming their pets, start telling you how much they love you.  Separately, it’s just a sign of a person, maybe in trouble, but being sensible.  Together, it’s a sure fucking sign they are taking themselves beyond your reach, forever.

There are so many people who say suicide is selfish.  I still can’t agree.  When you are in that much pain that you don’t want to be part of this planet anymore, then, inevitably, your choices are limited, the exit routes are closed down around you, until one, gleaming golden road fills up your vision.

Every single step down that road can be undone.  Every single step can be unstepped.  You can still grasp the hands that reach down, the arms that want to pull you off that road and hold you.  At this stage, you still have choice.

But somewhere down that road, death claims you and you walk towards her, as if transfixed, your eyes on her and your gait steady.  You reach out and her wings enfold you, taking away your pain and your weariness.  She gathers it all up in those soft feathers, makes you so light, you wondered how you ever felt so pulled down, and hopeless and helpless.

Together you fly, away from pain, away from the earth, away from every hurt you ever felt.

I still couldn’t say that it is a selfless act.  I imagine it might be the most courageous thing a soul in pain can ever do.

But oh my god, the loss, the silent, screaming, indescribable hole of agony you leave behind.

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About titflasher

Writer, blogger, animal activist, people activist, dream-catcher maker, mommy to 9 cats and a roving band of foxes ... Blog name comes from my father's suggestion for the title of my autobiography ... after my mother's and my awful habit of flashing whenever the security police took our photo in the dark old days of apartheid South Africa. I love nature, including creepy crawlies and people, find life fascinating and frustrating and have two terrible weaknesses - nictotine and animals in distress ... can't abide the latter situation and can't give up the former. I'm Pagan but not anti-Christian, funny but quite serious, light-hearted but can be annoying. I am warm-hearted until someone p*sses on me too much, then I get soggy and even. Feel free to link me but all the words on these pages is copyrighted, so copy it and take the credit and I will find you and slap you upside the head, hard. The blog is probably best read via category as there is loads on here already, and I just got started :-)
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4 Responses to They say suicide is selfish …

  1. warriet says:

    Who is “they”? Doesn’t really matter but I think and perhaps more to the point, feel that they are right not that it changes anything – it is all a bit binary really, simply. Once is person is dead they are irrevocably dead and the component cells start breaking down and the rotting biological components become part of the planet. The saddest ones are those for whom it really had been a cry for help who have chosen the method which causes their death despite the very best efforts of those who try to help them. I think of those who have overdosed on for example paracetamol. For them, life does not end with the softness of feathers and flights of angels but slowly and painfully as the body’s liver shuts down because it has been damaged beyond even its remarkable capacity for self-repair..In desperation they have left responsibility for the life/death decision to those that care(d) for them that is to say the decision to switch off the life support machine. Others do it even more slowly by using alcohol as the means of self-destruction. In the UK until few coroners would return a verdict of suicide because of the word’s impact on those around them.. Those left behind[sic] have enough to cope with anyway. None doubts the courage of desperation but that’s not the point. The suicide has in his/her anger committed the most aggressive act known to man or woman.. Too often they have succeed by dying at their own hands in wreaking an aw(e)ful revenge on those who had had tried to care for and about them.. As you suggested above they had a choice and exercised it.regardless of its consequences on others. But is that wrong per se? To misquote Douglas Adams, “life is wasted on the living”.

  2. titflasher says:

    David, totally agree. I did simplify because I had a particular person in mind who thankfully, in some respects, chose his methods well. Too well, because he is no longer with us and I suspect I am going to miss him for the rest of my life. But better that than a long, drawn out death or further disablement.

    There is so much you have spoken about here – anger/ aggression/ internalised pain and I totally get the other means of slow suicide also (alcohol/ tobacco). However, this is such a complex subject I guess I am out of my depth apart from quoting my experience of losing someone exceptional to his mental illness and total lack of self-worth, despite his ability to see worth in just about everyone else.

    I still don’t think that anyone in genuine pain should be condemned for seeking a release. I just wish sometimes they would hold on because life changes, it can change for the better (or worse) on a pinhead, as I only know too well and what is impossible today might not be tomorrow. Suicide removes options. It negates love and hope but I can understand the need to be free of pain being so much more powerful than the hope that someday it will be better.

    Life is (and can) be wasted on the living x

  3. Alee says:

    Suicide *is* selfish, but only as selfish as taking nourishment or wearing warm clothes or going to college or paying the electricity bill or reading a book.
    “Selfish” doesn’t have to mean “bad”.

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