Someone very dear to me has very recently lost a partner to suicide.
I wasn’t going to blog about this because there are some things that ought not to be plastered all over the internet, but it’s been on my mind constantly and I need to express my feelings – so I’ll do it without making any identities known.
I wasn’t close to the person in question, but still I am affected because I am a compassionate human being and the thought of anyone suffering is something I cannot bear to imagine.
I feel deeply sad in fact, and sad, and concerned for the person who is grieving.
And even though we all kind of expected it, it was still a shock.
There was nothing anyone could have done.
A week before the actual suicide he had made an attempt by cutting his throat.
That in itself, for “her” must have been horrific.
Then, two days after being let out of hospital, despite counseling and despite follow ups (they really were quite thorough and even checked that he got home safely the day he left hospital) he jumped off a cliff.
I think when someone loses a loved one to suicide it can be worse somehow, than a natural death. (I suppose it depends though.)
The fact that he was nearing the end of his life and had been diagnosed with cancer makes it at the very least understandable but there is just something about the act of jumping off a cliff into the ocean that is quite traumatic to contemplate.
And you DO contemplate it.
I find myself wondering if there were rocks.
Did he actually hit the rocks? Or was it straight into the water?
At the coroners they did actually go into some detail about his injuries and were careful to explain that he suffered no facial, or otherwise outward (for the identification process) trauma, but inside he was a mess.
I wasn’t expecting that – the detail, but it was done with a matter of factness that was also somehow quite sensitive and gentle.
(Everyone has been so very sensitive and kind and handled the matter with such deep respect for the grieving partner)
I was surprised they did an autopsy considering the police knew about his previous attempt.
How high was the cliff?
Was he conscious in the water or did he die straight away?
Did he suffer?
Did he have a moment as he was falling when he panicked and wished he hadn’t jumped?
Oh …what did that feel like to make that decision….that moment?
It makes me feel ill.
Nobody can answer THOSE questions.
That is the trauma of suicide, I guess.
And I’m just a bystander so I cannot imagine what it must be like for “her”.
I cannot judge a person who decides to take their own life under these circumstances.
He felt he couldn’t deal with a future of suffering, and chose his own time and way to leave this world.
It’s shocking, yes, but I can understand why he did it, and so can she.
Funny how varied peoples views can be though. I was quite surprised at my husbands reaction which was quite different from my own more accepting one.
Some people think it’s such a selfish act…and yeah, I guess it is, especially if it’s done in an act of anger or revenge, but in the circumstance of wanting to end your life because a disease is going to cause you to be in pain and anguish? I don’t think that’s selfish.
Some people fear death because it renders you powerless. You are not in control. For some people that is terrifying. More terrifying than throwing yourself off a cliff.
I can understand that. I am terrified of not having control too.
I just don’t understand why we can’t have voluntary euthanasia legalised.
I mean, in some parts of the world we have the death penalty and end a persons life as punishment, and yet we won’t allow people who are suffering the right to mercy?
How unjust is that?
I absolutely am an advocate for it. If there is a way it could be absolutely assured – of sound mind, all the legal red tape tied up…
WITH dignity….not lying broken at the base of a cliff.
Surely it can’t be THAT difficult for them to figure out?
I actually think it should be a basic human right in the case of terminal disease.
I worked as a nurse in my younger years for a while. I’ve had people beg me to “help them die”.
Please….I don’t want “Oh I’m so sorry for your loss” comments. That wasn’t why I wrote this and
it wasn’t MY loss.
I guess I’m just trying to make sense of an experience I never in my wildest dreams imagined for this person whom I care for…and I’m just trying to digest something that , well, that we all know about, hear about, but then it happens within your circle, and it’s just a shocking sad thing that is hard to wrap your head around.