Monday, 28th November, 2011.

Not Understanding

     It is a lonely death.   Nobody will ever know why the person who takes her or his own life did it.   Neither note nor letter can ever explain what finally made the suicidal sufferer perform that act of self-destruction.

     I write that on the heels of the announcement of Gary Speed’s death by his own hand.

     Gary’s death – that of a seemingly successful man – is all over the Media at the moment.   It will echo and re-echo for many a year.

     Thank goodness the BBC reported is not as “committed suicide”, but as “took his own life”.   The act of suicide is no longer a crime which one commits.   Though a few organised religious groups class suicide as a sin.

     A long time ago, Rosie and I did years of Samaritan work.   There were people who contacted the Mid-Wales branch whose sorrows were genuine and enormous.   Though I’d had a very deep and lasting depressive-illness some years earlier, I had never felt like ending my life.   Changing my situation, yes;  ending my life, no.

     Yet, hearing enormous sorrows which had ensnared many of those Samaritan callers, I just wondered what I would have done in their shoes.   Fortunately, I have always had a loving and caring and talking-together family.   Rosie was wonderful during my illness.   So was the then infant Liz.

     And, it always seemed to me, those callers felt totally alone with their sorrows.   Most, I believe, had family around them.   But the lonliness – the alone-ness – brought on by what they were feeling caused them seeming isolation, even in the midst of friends, family and neighbours.

     A friend of ours took his own life when we were living in the Midlands.   If, in the organised religion which Tim followed, suicide is classed as a sin, what of the religious teachings of that “faith” which caused his death?   For it was so.

     Alas, those left behind will always ponder and often take the blame for a suicidal death.   “We should have talked about his feelings”, “We didn’t know she was feeling that bad” – and they will agonise.

     Let us, as a caring society, never stigmatise those who take their own lives or those they leave behind.

     For who knows where our own feelings may take us?

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4 Responses to Monday, 28th November, 2011.

  1. John Johns says:

    My first viewing of your blog Keith and I’m suitably impressed.
    I am always interested in thought provoking comments and passages and this, as we know, has been well covered over these last couple of days, sadly.

    For what it’s worth, I always think to myself, “there but for the grace of God……….” How can anyone pass judgement until they have walked in that person’s shoes?

    A very good friend posed the question earlier; “is it not a selfish act?” I don’t blame her for thinking it and she apologised for the bad timing of her comment and besides, I have in the past thought it to be so.

    I see things differently now and have done for some time. As you said, for who knows where our own feelings may take us?

  2. Cornflake says:

    “A selfish act” – I do not think the person involved perceives it as that. S/he may even see it as a quite the opposite: doing something to rid loved ones of a burden. And it is a fact that perfectly rational and intelligent people take their own lives, not just “mentally disturbed” folk.
    I had grave doubts at one time about “assisted suicide” – felt it could be a way of conspiring relatives getting hold of Granny’s money earlier than she expected. However, I feel that those with no hope of recovery, are in deep distress and pain, and wish to died with dignity should be allowed to make that choice themselves. But there must be the proviso that they are under no pressure from other people when they are making that decision.
    Again: I wonder where my own feelings will take me should the time come . . .

    • John Johns says:

      Thanks again Keith. I hope you don’t mind but I have copied the first paragraph of your reply and posted it on another site I visit, used purely for footie matters but some people are starting to make the ‘selfish act’ point.
      I felt it necessary to respond and thought of no better way of doing so than with the words of the ‘master’ himself! 🙂

      Diolch Keith.

      • Cornflake says:

        Are you calling me a “master”?! I’m blushing.

        The overwhelming majority of us Proles – certainly in Great Britain – have been taught to accept the dictates and social ideas of our Controllers. Those Controllers can be religious groups or political ones or, more often, a combination of both!

        Therefore, our attitudes will change only gradually IF AT ALL. Most folk simply can’t be bothered to ponder upon various subjects and arrive at our own conclusions. But that must not deter those who CAN be bothered from trying to educate their Families, friends and neighbours.

        If any of the stuff I write is of any value at all to anyone who reads it, then they may pass it on if they so desire.

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