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
I read something very disturbing on facebook this morning. It was triggering for me, so read on with caution…
One of my friends on there is the daughter of a very precious friend of mine who passed away a few years ago. This morning, she posted that her brother just committed suicide. He hung himself with his belt. She later wrote that their father would beat them as children with his belt, & he was always depressed. This poor young man must have had a very difficult life.
As if this fact wasn’t tragic enough, some of the responses she got infuriated me. People told stories of someone they knew who took their own life, or said how sad this made them. One responder even called her brother selfish for doing this.
Selfish? Really? Obviously this person has absolutely no idea what it’s like to be suicidal.
To be suicidal is to be in the most lonely, depressing place imaginable with no signs of escape or that anyone cares you are there. You believe suicide will end your suffering, & end the burden you place on your loved ones. Logically, it seems like suicide is the only means of making things better. After all, you rationalize, it’s not like anyone would care if you were gone anyway, & they might just be relieved not to have to deal with you anymore. You honestly believe you are doing the world, especially those you love, a favor by killing yourself. There is nothing selfish or cowardly about suicide.
Living with C-PTSD, I think about it often. In fact, I have for most of my life. Thankfully, I’m aware that suicidal ideation is a normal part of this awful disorder, so I won’t follow through with my thoughts.
Being suicidal is the worst feeling in the world, I believe. Then to have this young man’s suicide brushed off as if it was a stupid, selfish action like gambling away rent money, or something to be compared to others’ situations infuriated me. I realize in difficult situations, most people don’t know what to say. Rather than admit that simple fact, they often end up saying something ignorant, stupid or extremely hurtful. The truth is, however, most people would rather hear something like, “I’m so sorry that happened to you. I don’t know what to say about it, but if you need me, I’m here for you.” than to hear some anecdote, how much worse someone else has it, or even “You should be glad his suffering is over now & he’s in a better place.” Comments like this are extremely painful! How would you like to hear that you should be glad your loved one who died yesterday is gone? Wouldn’t that hurt you? Then it will hurt someone else too!
Please just think about what you say to someone in time of suffering before you speak! Don’t just blurt out cliches,because they come across as hurtful & insensitive. The last thing someone in a dark place needs to hear is something that will hurt them. Offer to listen, to pray with & for that person, to handle some chores they need done, to run errands for them or even cook for them. Encourage them to grieve- there is no other way to come to grips with a loss other than to go through the grief process, no matter how long it takes. Use common sense when dealing with people who are suffering- if it would hurt you if someone said or did something to you, then it will hurt them too, so just don’t do it!
And, when it comes to someone who has killed himself, please don’t judge! You have no idea what went on in that person’s mind to push him over the edge. You don’t know what happened in his life, or how things affected him. You have absolutely no right to judge or criticize that person!
I really hope this post doesn’t sound like my friend’s tragedy was simple fodder for my blog. That certainly isn’t the intent. I just want people to think before they comment on situation involving someone they care about. Suicide is a topic near to my heart as well, & having been called selfish as well, hearing another person called selfish who not only considered suicide but followed through breaks my heart.
Hello, Dear Readers. I need a big favor from you today..
The 21 year old daughter of a couple of former friends of mine is currently on life support. From what I read, the doctors are only keeping her alive until some of her family members arrive. Please pray for her parents, brothers, family & her boyfriend. No doubt they all feel like they are in hell, losing such a special, good Christian woman.
Thank you for praying for these people with me in their time of immeasurable suffering.