Monday, January 9, 2012


I have had two acquaintances die in the past week from suicides.  They lived far apart and did not know each other.  Phil Donahue is quoted as saying "suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem."  In the first incident, the problem . . one of health . . did not seem to be a temporary problem.  In the second I just don't know.  The reason seems unclear.  Friends of both of the individuals all said the same things: the victim was the last person in the world one would have thought of killing themself.

I think many, many people are like the classic description of a duck: serene on the surface but paddling like hell underneath.  Too many people seem to keep their troubles to themselves until they feel they just can't deal with them any more.  And so they take the final step.

It is not for we survivors to judge them.  We are left with trying to understand the victims and their motives.  It is a difficult and nearly insurmountable task.


Stephen Hayes said...

So sad, for you and the friends and families of those driven to such an unfortunate action. My heart goes out to you.

Bruce Taylor, a.k.a. Catalyst said...

Stephen - Fortunately for me, the victims in both of these cases were quite distant from me. But thanks for your kind thoughts.

Tom Cochrun said...

Suicide, in most cases, leave survivors with an incomplete or cheated feeling. I still wonder what my former colleague was thinking when he drove to a parking garage, parked the car, got out and walked off the edge. Some of it is morbid curiosity-did he put the parking ticket above the visor, take it with him. Did he park the car carefully, etc. Crazy thoughts in trying to break the code of why he would do such a thing. The prevailing emotion is shock.
Sorry to hear about your friends.

Meggie said...

Unfortunately I know only too well, that feeling of darkness and hopelessness that these people have felt. Thank goodness (I think?) we don't have guns, or I would not be here.
All the platitudes about the reasons for living don't make much sense when that deep darkness strikes.
Sympathy to all concerned.

Bernie said...

I am not sure if anyone can understand why or how someone would take their own life. Some call them cowards others think them to be very brave. Unless we walk in their shoes we do not know the darkness they were living in, their pain or feelings of helplessness. I am so very sorry for your loss......:-)Hugs

Jarart said...

It does make one ponder when we hear of someone doing that. Sorry for the loss of your friends.

Lucy said...

So sorry to hear, Bruce, it's always such a sense of shock and outrage.

A very old friend whose father took his own life when she was a young adult quotes a counsellor who always told her 'there is no story to suicide', that there is no point in trying to understand it in terms of cause and effect that make sense to anyone else. The kind of depression that is invisible to others but which leads people to do it so apparently unexpectedly is certainly something going on under the surface, but it doesn't seem as though it could be fixed if only the person could make it known, and the definition of it as a temporary problem is not necessarily on the mark.

I don't know, but so sorry to hear.

The Bug said...

Suicide is such a hard thing - of course for the person committing it, but also for those left behind. To me it's the most difficult death to wrap my mind around.

I always hope that if I get to a point where it seems like a viable option that I'll send out an SOS.

Fijufic said...

I am so sorry to read this. I just had a friend take herself out and it was avoidable.

Depression is deadly if left unchecked.