Monday, September 23, 2013

Grief for Writers Who Have Taken Their Own Lives

This is about suicide, dear Readers, and it's not pleasant.

Recently, a writer I know took his life. Initially I heard he had simply died, then I heard he had committed suicide; then I learned he had jumped off the roof of his apartment building. My reaction became progressively stronger as I got the updates. Certainly I was sad when I heard he died; I thought he may have died of a heart attack since he hadn't been looking robust the last couple of times I'd seen him. I was shocked/appalled/horrified when I was informed he had taken his own life.

Several years ago, another writer, a woman this time, took her life. I didn't know her well, but we had mutual friends; and I heard a blow-by-blow account of how she'd run away from the home of her in-laws to be with her lover. But since her lover could not provide her with the refuge she needed, she returned to the in-law's house and declared everything was now all right. The next day she hung herself.

The feelings that these suicides conjure are dark and sticky. Even though I didn't know these people very well, I was perturbed by what happened to them. I wanted to blame someone for their deaths. In the first case: didn't he have friends he could turn to, someone who could have changed his destructive mood?  In the latter case, I wanted to blame the lover who had complicated her life and who was not there for her when she was desperate.

Intellectually, I know that there is no one to blame for their deaths, that they were responsible for their own actions, that the urge to destroy themselves came from an illness.  Perhaps if they could have thought things over sanely, they would have come to the conclusion that their problems could be solved somehow, that there were people who cared for them, that life is too precious to be thrown away just like that. There is a part of me that wants to call them spoiled brats having a gigantic trantrum -- so there, that will show them, I'm killing myself --- but I know in a deep way that it is far more complicated than that. Only God can understand their hearts.

I think of people who died who didn't want to and who struggled for life; I think of wars that destroy children who haven't even started to live. I think of old people who don't want to die, who are greedy for life in fact.

What a shame, I think, that these writers have chosen death instead of life.

May these two writers and others who have taken their lives find peace in their next adventure.

And thank you, dear Readers, for allowing me to express my grief for these fellow writers.

Read also

Is There a Link Between Creativity and Depression?

Death of a Carnival Queen

Kiki, a Story about a Cat 

Prayer to Jesus on the Cross

tags: death, suicide, grief, loss, depression, bipolar, genius, madness, creativity, writers, artists 

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