Good afternoon, Dear Readers!
A little while ago, I read about Brittany Maynard, the termanilly ill young woman who chose assisted suicide. Something popped into my mind..
It is amazing that people are calling her brave & strong & other such positive things, yet if someone who lives with depression, PTSD/C-PTSD or another mental illness commits suicide, they are labeled such terrible things as selfish or cowardly. I don’t understand what the difference is.
First off, I just want to say that I am not passing any judgement on Ms. Maynard. Honestly, I can’t say I wouldn’t have done the same in her situation. No one knows what they would do unless in the situation. What I am saying is what makes people call her brave for opting to end her life rather than face the pain & suffering of a horrible disease, yet label someone who is depressed enough to want to end their suffering through suicide is a selfish coward? Neither person wants to suffer any longer. Both are tired of the pain.
It just breaks my heart, the lack of empathy & compassion in the world. They also seem to be very selective on the rare occasion they do show up. In fact, there is a line in the movie, “John Q” that comes to my mind often. If you don’t know the movie, it is a great one! Denzel Washington plays the father of a young boy in need of a heart transplant. He & his wife don’t have proper insurance to cover the procedure, & he holds several people hostage in the hospital out of desperation. The police are called in to try to talk him into releasing the hostages safely. The negotiator, played by Robert Duvall, tells him, “Do you think these people (the crowd & tv crews) really care? You’re just the cause of the moment!” That statement is so true! People are so fickle! They may support a cause passionately, but as soon as something else comes up, the first cause will be abandoned.
Anyway, back to the original topic. Choosing to end one’s life isn’t selfish or cowardly. it simply means someone is tired of pain & wants to avoid further suffering. It also doesn’t mean that person is weak. Any person can only handle so much suffering before wanting an end to it. I urge you to have compassion on those who are considering suicide rather than pass judgement. If you know someone is suicidal, talk to her! Show her gentleness, love & understanding. Maybe all she needs to know is that someone cares. Maybe showing her that you care will help her to choose not to take her life.
If it’s you that is contemplating suicide, please know I understand what you are going through! I’m so sorry that you are in such a terrible place! Please reach out to someone for help- a non-judgmental friend or relative , your pastor, a counselor or even the National Suicide Prevention Hotline. Most of all, reach out to God! Tell Him how you feel, & allow Him to help you. The world would not be the same place without you! You are a special, unique person & the world needs you! Please think very carefully & reach out for help before doing anything rash! xoxo