(Trigger warning: suicide.)
Over two weeks ago, I posted about the unexpected loss of someone I knew, and less than a week after that I mentioned him in a post where I was talking about suicide. The juxtaposition is ironic now that the ruling of his death as a suicide has become public. I wouldn’t have written about this if it wasn’t for the fact that I heard/read so many people call it “selfish” and condemn him, and that’s never okay by me.
You see, when you are in a suicidal headspace, you are usually thinking of yourself as a terrible burden for the people who love you. You are convinced that they will be better off without you. You are certain that you can do nothing right, that everything you do and are is wrong, and that it would be better for everyone if you disappeared.
I know this because I have thought this. I have said this to myself. I have found myself hard-pressed to find a reason to stay alive–but I have been lucky enough to have people around me who have been able to help me weather the storm.
I once heard that suicide is choosing a permanent solution to a temporary problem, and I am honestly not sure how I feel about it. But as someone whose decision-making has been greatly impaired during depressive relapses, I don’t know that I can really consider it a choice. When you depression has zapped you of the ability to make your own choices in a logical manner, in a normal manner, are you really making a choice at all anymore?
I don’t know the answer to that, but I know this: I won’t blame him, or anyone, if that is how their life ends. Be it assisted suicide/euthanasia or what we traditionally know as suicide, it is not for me to judge.
And as for heavenly judgment? When he chose to perform a funeral for someone who had committed suicide, my family’s pastor said that he was certain she had asked for forgiveness–and that God would not have denied her. I find that I feel the very same exact way.