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Old 07-08-2012, 10:47 AM
 
Location: Nebraska
4,178 posts, read 9,650,776 times
Reputation: 9592

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She is 17. She and her brothers and sisters (and stepbrothers) were the only ones who had a key to their father's (my nephew's) home. He had not answered his phone for over a month, not since her brother graduated from High School, and he had attended that graduation - then disappeared. It turned out that that was also the day he'd gotten the court's decree that he no longer could see his two younger children from another marriage.

Apparently he had shot himself at home when he got back from the graduation.

My brother, his father, called me to tell me.

The sad part is that none of us adults were surprised. This was a young man who had a brilliant mind, who had really great ideas, but never any follow-through. He couldn't get funding for any of his projects or inventions. He would dart from idea to idea like a bee in a field of flowers. He had extreme highs and lows. When he was high, he was great fun to be around; his kids and wives loved his enthusiasm and his spirit. When he was low, though, he would disappear into himself; wouldn't talk, wouldn't work, wouldn't do anything at all except sleep or sit silent in a darkened room. He had been on all sorts of medications. He had sought help from all sorts of counselors. We had often tried to talk to him, to get him help, and he would shut us off and shut down completely. He had even joined several churches to "turn his life around". In the end, though, he simply could not face his life and pain any more.

What saddened me and my brother the most, though, is that his granddaughter/my grandniece was the one to find him. Only his children had keys to his place (none of his ex-wives or other family members, even my brother/his dad) so only his children were likely to find his body. I realize that he was long past the point of caring how other people think/feel, but still... That is not the sort of memory I would want to leave my children, and I can't understand someone - anyone - else wanting to do so.

I confess; I once wrote a "Suicide Manual" for those who were thinking about suicide. In it, I not only delineated the ways to commit suicide so as to have the least pain, but also the least impact on others. Part of it emphasized that suicide is a very personal choice, and having your children or loved ones find the body is, simply, a final cruelty (intentional or not) that they will never forget. "Arranging" one's suicide for maximum drama is just the final resort of someone who wants and needs attention, even in death where they can't enjoy the benefits of it. ("They'll regret making me do this!") I realize that most suicides don't think of others' pain, only their own, when they commit suicide, but still... If you love someone, or at least loved them once, wouldn't you want to spare them that? Especially a child, who didn't ask to have you as a parent, and who loved you no matter what? Even if everyone - including you - knew that eventually this was going to be your final step, just a question of when, wouldn't it be the responsible parental thing to, say, call the police and tell them where you are and what they can expect to find, hang up, leave the door unlocked, then do the deed so that they are the first to find you? If you are afraid that the police will respond too quickly or try to talk you out of it, couldn't you at least leave a message on your answering machine that says, "When you get this message, DO NOT COME TO THE HOUSE. Call the police. I have committed suicide and I DO NOT WANT YOU TO FIND ME THIS WAY"?

Yes, I realize that many suicides do not think or plan out rationally, or consider the feelings of those whom they leave behind - and some really do want to hurt - one final time - those whom they do leave behind. I just wish they would have some consideration for the impact of their choices on their own children before they commit their Final Act. As my brother said, "She will never be able to unsee that".

I get the desperation and misery that drives some to suicide; really, I do. And I can see the propensity in others to do it; I know that sometimes all of the medications, all of the counselors, all of the happy-happy-joy-joy people in the world can't change them or alter their misery and perceptions (and often make those miseries and perceptions even worse). But is it asking too much to have just a little final consideration for those who have to deal with the consequences of a suicide's choice? Especially those younger or less mature folk, on whom it could have a lasting, powerful, and devastating effect? If a responsible adult makes what is - to them - the only responsible, rational, and well-considered choice, couldn't they continue that responsibility just a little further, and in the process of ultimately relieving their own burdens, not throw them onto others?

Just my thoughts. I'm a little bugged by this. While I totally respect any individual's right to choose to live their own life - or to end it however they choose - it seems to me that the consideration of the consequences of those choices also has to be paramount. There is no 'freedom to choose' without knowledge of, and responsibility for, the consequences of that freedom of choice.
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Old 07-08-2012, 10:55 AM
 
833 posts, read 1,517,426 times
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I doubt anyone committing suicide is thinking rationally to begin with.
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Old 07-08-2012, 10:16 PM
 
1,245 posts, read 1,577,328 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCGranny View Post

The sad part is that none of us adults were surprised. This was a young man who had a brilliant mind, who had really great ideas, but never any follow-through. He couldn't get funding for any of his projects or inventions. He would dart from idea to idea like a bee in a field of flowers. He had extreme highs and lows. When he was high, he was great fun to be around; his kids and wives loved his enthusiasm and his spirit. When he was low, though, he would disappear into himself; wouldn't talk, wouldn't work, wouldn't do anything at all except sleep or sit silent in a darkened room. He had been on all sorts of medications. He had sought help from all sorts of counselors. We had often tried to talk to him, to get him help, and he would shut us off and shut down completely. He had even joined several churches to "turn his life around". In the end, though, he simply could not face his life and pain any more.
Sadly, these types of people are not welcome in this society any more. Society now likes boring sheep who can follow the herd and not make other people feel "weird."
I saw a documentary a while back that was about the guy responsible for turning the Grand Canyon into a national park[I think it was the Grand Canyon, my memory was a bit foggy]. Anyway, this guy, who was brilliant, would go into such bad fits of depression that he would have to be hospitalized. Today that guy would have been so medicated that he probably wouldn't be able to get out of bed!
I'm very sorry to hear about your loss...
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Old 07-08-2012, 10:21 PM
 
Location: earth?
7,288 posts, read 11,259,155 times
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I don't know for sure, but I think suicide is not only selfish, but can be passive-aggressive - it's like a big
F U to everyone. I feel very sorry for your relative and I hope she gets help so she can try to move on.
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Old 07-08-2012, 10:38 PM
 
Location: Wyoming
9,710 posts, read 18,112,755 times
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Sorry Granny, and I'm sorry for your grandniece. My wife's mother committed suicide. Her youngest brother, a young teen at the time, found her. My wife has never forgiven her mother for that.
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Old 07-09-2012, 04:17 AM
 
Location: Purgatory
2,663 posts, read 4,684,519 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imcurious View Post
I don't know for sure, but I think suicide is not only selfish, but can be passive-aggressive - it's like a big
F U to everyone. I feel very sorry for your relative and I hope she gets help so she can try to move on.
Your cluelessness never ceases to amaze me. Do you get some sort of kick out of this?
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Old 07-09-2012, 07:04 AM
 
Location: Nebraska
4,178 posts, read 9,650,776 times
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Never mind, dragonborn, I fully expected imcurious to chime in with that sort of comment.

Thanks to those who responded with sympathy, but...

What I would really like to see are those comments from people who are "practically and rationally" considering suicide, who understand that their choice to do so will have consequences, and that they are preparing themselves for those consequences. We of course have to expect "clueless" comments from those who adamantly insist that suicide is wrong/evil/mean/selfish/, and who would willingly deny people their rights to live - or die - as they choose, to fit their ideal of the human condition. I'd rather ignore them and move on with the discussion at hand.

Should someone who is rationally and coherently planning their own demise take into consideration those who will/may find their body, and attempt to orchestrate it to a certain degree so that young children, or others who are ill-equipped to deal with the impact, are not affected, except peripherally? Should they do things, like, say, have their insurance papers/bank account info easily accessible, so that their body disposal is easily taken care of? Should they have a pre-plan with a funeral director so that their end-of-life plans are laid out? Should they have DNR orders laid out so that resuscitation is not attempted or performed by family members or first responders? Should they have a system in place to notify people, so that their decomposing body doesn't lie in a house or apartment for a week or a month before someone - anyone - finds it?

Or is that asking too much? These are just practical, not emotion-driven, considerations; I'd appreciate practical, unemotional responses, not the usual "oh-migawd-suicide-is-verboten-and-you'll-go-to-HELL!" or "Suicides are all crazy anyway" knee-jerk responses. Those are all too easy (simple answers for simple minds)...
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Old 07-09-2012, 07:54 AM
 
Location: Purgatory
2,663 posts, read 4,684,519 times
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SCGranny,

I am very sorry for your loss and I am sorry for your grand-niece who will most likely be traumatised for a long time and will need a lot of help to be able to process and deal with the loss, trauma and the shock of finding her father's body. That's not something I've ever had to deal with or would wish on my worst enemy.

I'll give you my opinion anyway, as a rational individual who accepts that at some point, I may or may not end up taking my own life. I hope that this doesn't hurt you in any way, but I hope that it might actually help you understand and be able to rationalise what it always seen as a selfish or even evil act.

My opinion is that people who truly want out should be able to do so in a humane, painless and proper manner at a designated facility. This would include not only terminally ill people, but also people in my situation who genuinely want out, where there is no cure or no real solution to make life at least somewhat liveable. Most of us are not selfish at all, many like me have no dependents such as children or a partner that will be left behind.

In the case of your nephew, personally 1) I would not have done it had I had children and 2) I would not have done it in a manner in which my body could have been discovered in that way, especially by a family member. I am guessing that he simply saw no other way out and reached the limit in terms of what he could tolerate, which is very sad in itself. Perhaps he felt that there was no one to reach out to and didn't want to become a burden, which contrary to popular belief that those who commit suicide are selfish, many feel like they are a burden or will become burdensome if they don't exit,'especially as society pushes a "survival of the fittest" down our throats, especially with men who are supposed to be tough and not show any sign of weakness.

I do think that if you do decide that there is no way out, you should aim for damage limitation and consider a means in which you won't be found by a family member or friend. Writing a note is vital, not so much to make a statement, but more as an explanation for those who care about you to try to avoid anyone blaming themselves (of course many inevitably will anyway, which is why it is best to leave something in writing).

Unfortunately, until we collectively address the real issues as to WHY people commit suicide beyond just taking happy pills and telling people to "get help", we have to accept that suicide is a fact of life and will continue to be. A better understanding of mental illnesses and working towards better treatments and understanding will help those who are genuinely mentally ill, but we also need to look at the bigger picture. Until we do these things, why not just allow people to die humanely, so they don't have to resort to such brutal measures? This would reduce the number of suicide victims being found by family members, friends or strangers who end up being traumatised themselves.

Again, I am very sorry for your loss. This is a particularly difficult and lonely era to live in for many people...I feel it every day and don't know how long I'll be able to hold out, long term.
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Old 07-09-2012, 10:55 AM
 
Location: California
31,586 posts, read 34,821,923 times
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One day I considered it. I know how I would do it if it came down to that but knowing my son would find me, and knowing my parents would have to bury their child, kept it from being more than a thought. Since then I've had a change in attitude towards life. I know I'm going to die at some point and I don't worry about it, but I also don't need to rush it. Unless I'm in horrible phyical pain I doubt it I will ever entertain serious thoughts about it again.

An old coworker and friend of mine, who I hadn't seen in 10 years, took his life last week. He lost his job last year and was making a midlife career change, and his wife was divorcing him, but I have reason to think that he also battled depression most of his adult life. No kids and I suppose the wife found him but I don't know for sure. Apparently he was covering his tracks with people who were closest to him (telling them about an upcoming vacation he was going to take, etc.) while making plans to do this. He left notes and gifts and told people not to feel bad, it's what he wanted, he was just DONE. I'm not sure what to think.

Last edited by Ceece; 07-09-2012 at 11:03 AM..
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Old 07-09-2012, 11:12 AM
 
Location: New Jersey
8,712 posts, read 10,316,307 times
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i agree there should have been a message of some kind left for the adults when children are involved and could stumble upon that situation. any teen or child finding any dead person would be scarred for life, let alone a relative they're close to....i also agree with the 2nd poster on some level that he likely was in so much distress and didn't consider it. pretty sure he didn't do it on purpose. still, what a shame for the kid *smh*
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