Given my Libertarian tendencies, I've historically believed that so long as someone's actions don't directly harm others, then to each their own.
Theoretically, I've applied this belief system to life and death. I strongly support physician-assisted suicide and I've always believed that labeling suicide as a crime is silly.
Philosophically, I support the right for people to choose death. If you are in intolerable pain and suffering, isn't the most ethical thing to allow you to relieve that hurt?
And then my friend committed suicide
. My young, healthy, smart, loved
friend killed himself. And then I realized what a selfish act suicide is.
Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the U.S. according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
And the majority of people who kill themselves--90%--have a recognizable and treatable
psychiatric condition such as depression or PTSD at the time of their death. I take this to mean that suicide does not have to be the answer to ending emotional turmoil.
Death in the age of Facebook is an interesting proposition.
I've been looking at my friend's Facebook page through which his family has been communicating about funeral arrangements and what not. I've kept up on the comments of shock, sadness, guilt, anger.
So many people have said things like: If I had only known... Why didn't he call me... I would have been there in a second...
I, basically an acquaintance at this point, have wondered What if I had just sent him a message... would it have made a difference?
I don't know the answer. I have no idea what drove him to it. All I do know is that in addition to being sad that Sean is gone, I'm also angry... It didn't have to end this way.
If you are contemplating suicide, please think about the family and friends you leave behind.
Please know that people love you--even if it doesn't feel like it right now. Please know that there is help
available. Please know that you--YOU--matter.
If you are in crisis, please reach out, please call someone, no matter the hour. Your life is worth it.
*I recognize in writing this post that I separate physical and emotional pain, believing that for terminal, incurable physical ailments, suicide seems the most compassionate answer, but that emotional issues in an otherwise healthy person do not constitute enough cause for killing oneself. There is a reason I am not a moral authority on anything!
A life cut short. Remembering my first love.
Labels: friends, hotline, National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, personal, prevention, Sad things, suicide