Posts Tagged Suicide
This post doesn’t start out with the catchphrase “excuse my logic,” for it is not meant to poke fun at anyone, minimize anyone or in any way make light of the subject at hand. Suicide is not a subject to be taken lightly and I hope this post offers some insight to anyone who is either considering this action themselves or know of someone who is.
Furthermore lest it be said that I don’t have any experience that would qualify me to address this issue I would like to point out that I have lost two dear relatives to suicide.
The first loss came when I was in my early twenties. My very favorite uncle, Rudy, was living with his two brothers (one of whom was my grandfather) and another uncle who was paranoid schizophrenic and quite simply off the wall more often than not. The schizophrenic uncle was much younger than Rudy and had a penchant for tormenting Rudy to the point where Rudy felt like a prisoner trapped in a hopeless existence. While it was never documented that Rudy killed himself (no autopsy was done) my parents tell me that a bottle of sleeping pills half full was found next to his body on the night table. There is another indication that he killed himself in that the night before he died he called up my Dad and asked him out of the blue to make a McDonald’s run (Rudy loved McDonalds but usually never wanted to put anyone out to drive him there). We believe this was Rudy’s metaphorical “Last Supper.”
The other relative I lost to suicide was a more clear-cut case. My cousin, in his late teens, blew his head off with a shotgun. Here there had been issues of a recent breakup with a girl, divorced parents and as my one aunt observed just a life too filled with rejection.
This brings me to the insight I wish to offer the reader. I was listening to a religious recording and the speaker cited an informal study that had been conducted on the subject of suicide. This clergy man didn’t harp on that old adage taught to us that if you kill yourself you’ll go straight to hell. What he did observe was an offshoot of that adage but one that is more believable and contemporary than the threat of going to hell and burning up in the proverbial fire.
According to the study, a number of people who had attempted suicide and “crossed over” to the other side briefly, before being brought back to life vis-à-vis EMS workers or others, reported eye-opening experiences. There was a common thread to these experiences. These people who had near death experiences all reported that when they temporarily entered their afterlife, whatever problem they were trying to escape by killing themselves was still waiting for them on the other side only ten, twenty or even a hundred times worse!
I think this is a very powerful idea and one with practical applications. Suicide you see is often fear driven. The person is afraid of losing their job, their family, their home, their position in the community etc. Their fear overrides their sense of logic and they decide that the best way out is to take their life. They reason that if they kill themselves they will no longer have to suffer the humiliation, rejection or grief that they are feeling while alive. So you see, if you know someone who is contemplating suicide and you tell them that the problem they are facing here is going to be ten times worse after death my thinking is that you will fight fear with fear. Then it becomes a question of which fear is greater. If you want to stop a person who fears this life from ending their life, you must instill an even greater fear into that person of what lies ahead. If the person contemplating suicide be it you or a loved one, has any sense of reason left at all they may start to rethink their intentions.
I speak from experience on this front too. About ten years ago, I passed on the information about the crossing over study to a coworker of mine who was intent on killing himself. He was addicted to drugs, felt misunderstood and completely alone in the world. Several weeks after I told him of the study he approached me and thanked me. He gave me his word that he would never think of killing himself again and I believe from that point forward he began turning his life around.
Suicide claims victims of all ages, religions, and socioeconomic status. How often have we heard someone exclaim about a victim of suicide “Oh he had everything to live for.”? That’s what makes suicide so insidious. Some people will exhibit all the textbook signs of depression and suicidal tendencies before actually killing themselves. Other people who kill themselves leave us gaping open mouthed wondering how in the world it got to that point.
The above information is not meant to be a substitute for professional mental health counseling. Rather it can be used as an adjunct in conjunction with the services of a mental health expert. These are tough times. Many people are disillusioned and/or scared. If this post even succeeds in stopping one suicide, then it will have served its purpose. They say that a person who is really hell bent on killing themselves can’t be stopped. However, the least we can do is make the effort.
Copyright 2011; Greg S.