Your Compassionate Contributions

Thought I’d return to contemplating suicide since there have been several lengthy comments left which give personal accounts on this topic. They merit being republished, together. Thank you all.

On a personal note, back in July 2007 I was called to perform the funeral for a man who took his life. This posting points to an organization which helps grieving children. Interestingly enough returning to the subject of suicide I realize I’m returning each week, to attend a course, to the very town where the chap mentioned lived and worked. He now comes to mind as does his remaining family. Particularly his young daughter.

I find this discussion difficult because my father, who is now 89, has been talking about euthanasia for years. The other day he was very angry & upset about the prospect of what he sees as an “undignified” existence & told me he was going to take his life. I see it all very differently. I’m not against euthanasia for any moral reason apart from it seems to be a mistaken approach, which a Buddhist sees in a different way to many. It hurts me that my dad cannot accept his impending demise & feels the need to rush ahead to death as a way of escaping the last period of time, which may just allow him to come to terms with life & death himself. People try to tell me this is my “stuff”. I feel I want to help my father deal with his situation in the best possible way. I have told him I will help him to end his life if that is what he really wants. Of course I am hoping that won’t come to pass. It’s all too simple for John Humphrys & people with these views to tritely say they will do this. When the time comes things are not that simple.

Comment attached to Onward to Death – Again

“For myself, I can say that my mother’s suicide has given me knowledge – unwelcome knowledge, but knowledge nonetheless. One element of that knowledge is the possibility of suicide. Like drink to an alcoholic, it is always there in the background, always an option. But another part of that knowledge is an understanding of the actuality of suicide and its consequences for those left behind.”

Did I write this or just read it? Could have been either, but it does reflect exactly what I think, having had a mother who killed herself when I was just 19yrs old. I do suffer from depression, and suicide is something I often think about, but cannot do because I know what lifelong pain it causes those left behind. Thanks Rev Mugo for raising this important issue.

Anonymous comment attached to Suicide or No

Suicide has had quite an influence on my life. I have known several friends who have killed themselves. I have tried to learn from their lives, for example how I can support people so they are able to choose to live – to find a way to be (gentle) with themselves. At the same time I try to respect that choice if it has been made or at least be compassionate to it. Sometimes I see suicide as the ultimate protest, that we all need to listen to as a community when someone in our midst chooses this escape route. How can we learn from this how can we live together more peacefully and in ways that allows us to regroup, heal and grow again?

So many people struggle with ‘demons’ that tell them they are not good enough. How do we foster an atmosphere of awareness that embraces these demons and quells their terror? I think talking about suicide and suicidal thoughts can be helpful in making the subject less fearful. Is an accepting approach helpful towards suicidal thoughts? I suppose its that middle way of acknowledging and holding lightly (self destructive thoughts) without giving in or trying to suppress such thoughts. Ok enough talk I am going to go and make lunch!

Comment left by Rufus attached to the posting, Suicide or No

Thank you all for your active participation.

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