I’ve been thinking a lot about death, given the world’s terrible loss of Robin Williams this month and the fact it was by choice – his choice. I have heard talk of suicide being romanticized, the dangers of those who may follow in his footsteps. Of life wasted. Of cowardice. Of selfishness. Of sin.
Death is as natural as breathing, as thinking, as eating, as living. Every single born being on this Earth will die. You may twist death’s definition with your own fill-in-the-blank religion, but the fact is, scientifically, chemically, and like all other living organisms on the planet, you will die. Cease to exist. Go back into the earth in the natural cycle of all of life.
We don’t choose to be born. We don’t choose many things we get in life, in fact. But something we MIGHT have control over (that is, if outside forces or circumstances – read: “god” – allow for us to live up to the moment we decide we’d rather not) is when and how we die. Because it is, essentially, illegal, there is unfortunately no easy or clean way to do it. As a United States resident, you must live in Oregon, Washington or Montana to get the option of ending your life in a way that will give you a peaceful, quick and painless transition…and that’s only offered when you are diagnosed with a terminal, painful illness that will kill you in six months or less anyway.
Why do we hold life so dear that we ostracize, demonize or emotionally cannibalize those of us that decide its just not for us anymore? Why is there so much hatred and anger saved for the ones that want out? Are we just upset that some people don’t value something as much as we do? Humans and animals have been killing each other since the beginning of time…why is it so much harder to understand why one would want to do the job themselves?
I have faced depression and anxiety throughout my life. I’ve been sexually abused and mentally destroyed from an early age. I’ve come through it, but I still deal with it daily. I have wanted out before. I have never thought through or planned or decided on suicide of any sort, but I’ve certainly wished for non-existence, for lack of better words. I’ve wished for everything to be over because everything is too much. I’ve longed for a kind of peace where there are no more problems to be had. I go on with life for lots of reasons, but I can certainly understand how those reasons could, for some, pale in comparison to the pain of being. When I hear of suicide, it reminds me of my lowest moments when I still probably wasn’t half as hopeless as they were at the end…and I remember that the decision can be anyone’s at anytime.
Things get better, right? I don’t know. Maybe for some, they never do. Maybe you just figure out new and better ways to distract yourself from the pains that make you want to stop everything. Maybe you get hit with more and more awful news until you really can’t see recovery from the depths you’re currently in. I don’t blame that person for anything they decide to do from that position. I understand. It fucking sucks for everyone affected by that one person’s decision to be done, but we can’t be mad. We have to remember how fucking awful life must have been to bring them to that point and let them go to whatever freedom they’ve chosen for themselves. Even if its nothingness, nothing is sometimes better than too much.