Why Does One Choose Suicide?
I just received a call from my Daughter-in-law. Her brother shot himself in the chest with a shot gun. They don't expect him to make it through the night. And yes it was self inflicted. Why? I really do not know. I could make a lot of guesses, but probably will never get it right. He is 46, nice looking man, a body builder. He has a wife, 2 great sons, a grandson and granddaughter, and is very prosperous. It is baffling to me why one would do this. I cannot imagine taking my own life. By doing so I would be hurting the people that I love with all my heart and leaving them with such a terrible thing to deal with.
I had a 19 year old brother that shot himself. He was angry with his Dad. He too used a shotgun. But it was instant death for him. My Mother was devastated for years. My Father also shot himself. For the life of me I do not understand how someone can take their own life. I just wonder what goes through their head as they are in the process of doing this act of selfishness. Yes, to me it is selfish. They surely are not thinking of the ones left behind to find the body, to ask WHY?, to have so many unanswered questions, to deal with the grief of such a horrible act. Not to mention the interrogation by the police. Of course this is to be expected, but the family is already reeling from the shock of the unexpected and then the police are throwing all these questions at you and you are slow to think because of the images in your head of the scene that you have just witnessed. And these images stick with you for the rest of your life. Believe me it is so surreal. The one that commits this act of course does not think of what they are going to put their family and friends through. They are only thinking of their own misery as they put the thought into motion.
I try to defend them in some way, to try to make some sense of it. I would think one has to be so deeply in pain, mentally, physically or emotionally that they cannot think clearly at all. Things must be in slow motion in their minds and they just can't quite get past the moment of decision to keep them from following through. I think maybe if they would just wait 10 minutes, sleep on it, wait til in the morning, maybe they wouldn't do it. But then who knows? My Dad planned his death for some time before he shot himself. I have thought about this much over the years and to me when it comes to suicide there is a fine line between courage and cowardice. It has to take great courage to put that gun to your head, knowing the end result and pulling the trigger. Then on the flip side it is a cowardice way out of life because you do not want to face your problems and work through them. I think most of the time there is no preventing someone who is determined. In an instant it is all over, an instant, with no turning back.
I wonder what their last thoughts are before they pull the trigger, or run their car into a tree, or whatever other way one commits suicide. Do they think at the last second ' I want to live ' but it's just to late? Do they talk to God? Do they cry? Do they wish someone would stop them? The questions never end. Then the ones left behind feel guilty.' If only I had done this or done that.' ' I should have known.' I know I felt the same way, thought the same thoughts. But it is over and done, nothing can be done and probably never could have been done, because we cannot read others minds. We cannot always know how they are feeling. And of course we never think a loved one would do such a horrendous thing. So here we are left with the questions and the guilt, sitting in stunned disbelief. If you have never been through it, I do so hope you never have to go through it.
I cannot imagine ever taking my life, but then I have never been at rock bottom. I hope never to be there to get a glimpse of why someone would take their own life. All I can say is love each other and be kind to each other. Say, ' I love you' every chance you get. Your kinds words may, or may not, save someone from themselves someday. But you will know that they knew you loved them. You have to remember if someone close to you chooses to take their life, it is not your fault. It is ultimately their choice. Chances are there is nothing you could have said or done to change their mind. Life is so precious, and suicide is just a total waste of life when there are many who are struggling to stay alive.
I just got the call and he did not make it. Another grieving family, for such a senseless act. My thoughts and prayers go out to them.