Thursday, April 05, 2012


A few thoughts. Please do not read it if the topic title doesnt sit easy.

Death, of all sorts, has been interweaved throughout my life and I am not for a moment suggesting I am unique, but more that it certainly makes one think.

I have often heard suicide is selfish and I haven't ever quite, despite endless discussion, worked out why. I understand why, but that doesn't mean it is. The facts, as my father puts it, aren't a patch on the truth.

The mental health system, in my mind, is inpenetrable. I am watching, as that is all I can do, from a distance as someone spirals out of control planning their death, barely surviving each day, clearly surrounded by friends and as I, the stranger, sit I just want to reach out and can't. If this person does kill themselves, I am not sure it would be selfish, but more that they are living the wrong life.

I am here, on my boat, a million miles in terms of culture and attitude yet even I care. I would love to open the door to a world that is so dramatically different that this person could stop what, where and how they are and live. A door not to death, but a door to a different life. To give that a go.

I can't. For many, many reasons.

Something someone said a long time ago was how one never knows who would be affected by a suicide. My uncle, in his suicide, probably didn't realise, nor my friends, nor the strangers. It isn't that they are selfish, it is that they didn't know? I can't help but think when I visit the graves of the lost whether it would have been different if they had known, if they had had the knowledge would it have helped.

Society is so different to how it used to be, and even today people don't really know the full impact of depression, mental health problems, PTSD and everything else. The silent killer.

These people aren't selfish, they are desperately ill, and because they have mental health problems they have also lost their rights.

So they say that it is selfish
Which is ok when it's you not me
They say that leaving here
Is solvable
Without doing anything
To hold back the tears.
The dried tears
Of history
Of inconsolability.
Of everything that was
Is, used to be and will be.
They say that it is selfish,
But what is it to them.
They want all the good,
The fun
Without putting in the
Hard graft to balance
The insanity
Not in sane
Without sane
Thoughts from them
To dry the mind
To guide the chasm
Within the soul
Yes, as I rest my flowers
On your grave
I agree
It IS selfish
Selfish of me
Not to give my all
For you.
To care
To hear
To walk.
To help you stop
ending it all.

It was selfish
Of you not to ask
But you were ill.
I was not.
I could not


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very compassoniate and insightful of you. I cannot and would dare not speak for anyone else. I speak only for me. As someone who suffered through a horribly abusive childhood surrounded by sociopathic alcoholics and pedophiles, and extreme violence, I have suffered my share of dark depressive episodes. Some of them have been suicidal. The desire to end my life came from the soul depth of the pain I suffered and feeling utterly at a loss to change things out of my control--too tired to keep going on. Having my children was the best thing that ever happened to me. I couldn't do anything to hurt them no matter how badly I was hurting. And with time comes wisdom; I know now that if I keep putting one foot in front of the other eventually I will reach the other side of my depression. There will be experiences there that I will not have wanted to miss. I have to keep breathing in and out until I get there. How long will it take? No one knows--not even me. Control is my issue--not over others, only for myself. Suicidal rationalization says, "This is my life. I own it, and I can control this one thing--whther I continue to live or choose to die." Maybe this is selfish thinking, but who am I to judge.

7:02 PM  
Blogger MortimerBones said...

JB. Thank you. MB

8:40 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

My Grandfather used to say -
For every down side there is an up side.
For every bad day there is a good day.
For every loss there is a gain.
The trick is to remember the upside, good day or gain and treat the others as a lesson in life.

It has served me well all these years and helps to keep me going.

12:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Bones- This particular issue is still very taboo with many people point blank considering it just 'selfish', I think as a natural defence mechanism. It is only when you are touched personally that you deliberate the subject, albeit inside your own thoughts. JBs comment is emotive & lovely in my opinion. Lovely is probably not the correct word but being able to express on here must be very helpful. I recently helped save a dear friend who tried to commit suicide & was within a cats whisker of leaving us. Knocked us all for six. She called us just before collapsing. My dash with her to the Hospital was surreal, no time for an Ambulance as we did not know where exactly she was. Instinct, I think led me to her. I continue to wonder what I could have sooner as I sensed something, I really did. My /our friend is recovering really well & has support from many sides. This episode has helped me as in a very strange way has balanced the fact that many years ago another friend was lost that could have been helped? His suicide was horrendous.
Twelve years on & I still feel moments of guilt that I could have perhaps helped. In my honest opinion it could be argued that those left behind are the 'selfish' one's, living with self pity? Maybe I am too harsh, I do not know.
Thank you for another wonderful thoughtful post.
Kevin Ronnie & Donna NB Acorn

7:24 AM  
Blogger MortimerBones said...

Acorn - that's the point isnt it, so many people change their minds and for some reason phoning BEFORE they take anything is taboo. Thank goodness your friend was O.K. It could so easily have been too late.
Someone I knew took an overdose, they phoned someone and seemed absolutely fine, but they died later in hospital, slowly. His last words that I know of were- I don't want to die. It was too late. He had to.
May he rest in peace but may your friend continue to find the path through the rocky mountains of life and may you have wisdom and strength.
The help my friend found was too late. If only he had asked, and if only those listening had understood. Too often we hear or speak too late.
May that change.

8:43 AM  
Blogger WeepingCross said...

Thank you - I don't know whether this is the same person I'm thinking about at the moment, but if not I'm very sorry as it means you know about two! I continually ponder this matter and it remains such a mystery. The person *I* know has expressed repeatedly a desire and in fact determination to kill themselves, and has said resentful things when others have called the ambulance after 'attempts', but at the same time argues that there's no help available - so they clearly *want* help too. It's very plain that a lot of the friends talking to her think she's just not trying hard enough. They may be right, from a distance I don't know. What I do think is that the suicidal person has to find some reason to want to keep going and without that there's nothing much anyone can do, and they *may* have gone so far down that it's just not going to happen. My dad died after two years with Alzheimer's and Parkinson's because his body was just too weak to fight off the infection he contracted; we accept that, because it's a physical illness. We don't automatically think he should have tried harder. But we're less likely to want to face the possibility that somebody's mind might be so weak they can't fight any more.

1:59 PM  
Blogger MortimerBones said...

I suppose the thing with someone's mind is that they don't always notice and their friends don't notice until it is too late.

On reflection I think I can see why suicide is selfish. I don't necessarily think it is a selfish act, but sometimes those left behind are left holding the flowers and never mend. Not selfish because of what that person did, but selfish because they could have done so much more to let others help them. Perhaps.

10:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps all of this writing serves some form of purpose. Being many miles west of the UK in Southern Ontario Canada does not lessen the result of suicide.
It has been mentioned the word "selfish" many times. The person who does the suicide is not able to judge whether or not the action is selfish, they are dead. Those remaing may look on the act as suicide but others may see the entire excercise is contrary to what they know.

Suicide does not have be death per se;
rather suicide can be removal of one's being from any number of activities and existences. One may become a hermit for example which is a form of suicide, shutting one's self away from others, isolation if you wish.

Yes one may request help, however the
final solution comes down to the person who may or may not be aware due to the mind-state of the
consequences of the act.

Once done, it is over.

For the person, and those surrounding...

3:57 AM  
Blogger MortimerBones said...

I agree and you have put my thoughts from this post and my u turn post into much better words. The person cannot judge. Too true.

12:55 PM  

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