I had this discussion yesterday with a friend. It's a subject, suicide, that I know well. My husband, the father of my children, the only man I was ever married to, took his life thirty-one years ago today. Usually the year passes and I don't think about it much. After all, thirty-one years is a very long time.
But, because of the discussion yesterday and the fact that this subject is so taboo, I decided today to write about it. My friend said yesterday that I'm the "queen of the upbeat". Aah, yes, but that has been a choice. I've been to the other side and the upbeat one is a much easier way to live.
I find it interesting how many people's lives have been touched by suicide - a parent, a sibling, or a good friend or relative who left from suicide. Yet, the subject never comes up unless they know that you too have been touched by it. It is such an undiscussed subject. Sadly. It's as if it is a "dirty" subject - something that sex used to be eons ago. And yet, I wonder, if it didn't have such a stigma attached to it if more people couldn't be saved?
In my husband's case, he had been abused continuously as a child by a step father. I had never encountered anything like his demons. I was 19 to his 20 when we met. I loved him and thought loving someone could make them well. As the years went by, professional help was tried, but, to no avail. Very sad.
When he died no one wanted to reminisce about his life, his humor, his kindnesses or anything else. So, I kept it to myself, except with the three children that were left behind. Those conversations were tenative at first, but now I share all kinds of tender and funny stories with them as well as they do with me. Time does heal.
The photo above was taken by my mother-in-law at the beach in Biloxi. I never saw the photo until 2004 when Jennifer had found it in her grandmother's possessions and had it blown up and had it hanging in her kitchen on the wall. I seldom cry, but when I saw it I burst into tears. Not out of sadness, but for the fact that she took a photo of such a beautiful day and wanted to have it around to remember. Aaah, those innocent times - I at 22 - he at 23. Thankfully, we cannot see the future.
So, the discussion yesterday was about ill health and "checking out" which was the phrase used yesterday. Hmm. I have to admit I sure wouldn't want to linger for years with some horribly debilitating disease. So, when is suicide a personal choice and when is it just NOT something that you should do, because of those left behind? Or is everyone's life their own business and everyone has the right...............When is a personal choice..........selfish?