What could have been so bad or painful?
Recently there was some coverage about a young man who taken his life. This was a young man who had a very promising career and was described as a very prodigious person. He was so gifted in his field of technology that he was widely respected by peers as well as some of the great minds in the field of technology. He had run into some rough patches and was being pursued for some legal difficulties. Who knows what was going through his mind but he ended up taking his life. People were stunned by this untimely death and the world lost a great mind under tragic circumstances. Anyone who knew this young man can ask the big question of WHY?
All survivors of a completed suicide ask the same question of their loved ones. This is probably the most common question that survivors ask themselves as they struggle with the aftermath of a loved one’s suicide. Survivors spend many hours probing just what went wrong in the lives of their loved ones. Few people come up with an answer that satisfies them. Survivors find it very difficult to understand just what was so bad in the life of their loved one that caused them to make this decision that was so final and drastic. What could have been so bad or painful that made this loved one do such a horrible act and bring such awful and gut-wrenching pain to those people who loved this person so much? That is the question that survivors are plagued with as they enter the journey of grief. I am not so sure that there is an adequate answer to that question that will make sense to survivors.
Instead of attempting to answer the above question I am going to attempt to shed some light on the thought process of people who complete suicide. First of all I am of the opinion that people who complete suicide do not think along the same lines that other people think. I believe that people who complete suicide have a thought process that is completely different to the thought process that many of us use. What is that difference? That is something that I do not know and am unable to answer but I am of the opinion that people who complete suicide are thinking differently than many of us. I wish I knew the difference in that thought process but I don’t.
People who complete suicide look at the world differently than most other people. For those people who complete suicide their act of taking their life makes all the sense in the world. These are not stupid people or uncaring people but they are people who do not think like many other people. I would never say that these people are not thinking normally because who really knows what normal is. I prefer to say that these people think differently than many or most of us. I am of the opinion that if I looked at the world through the eyes of these hurting people I most likely would do the same thing. It is very easy, but erroneous, for some people to conclude that this act is a selfish or a cowardly act. It is neither but it is an act of desperation. For these people life had become intolerable and they could no longer continue living the life that they were living. Their suicide was not meant to hurt anyone or to deliver a message that their loved ones were not important or loved. Their vision of the world was dominated by the pain that had completely taken over their souls and they could find relief only by ending their lives. They could not conceive that there would be a lifting of the pain in a day or two or a week. For them the pain was going to last forever. Why live with this excruciating pain, they conclude. Their pain had literally become impossible to bear any longer. Why? Because they think differently than many of us. They don’t look at the world with hope. They are consumed with nothing but hopelessness and despair. With their death they are freed from the pain that had engulfed their souls.
My suggestion is that survivors develop this distinction between the way that their loved ones viewed the world and the way that survivors view the world. There is a major difference. Their loved ones looked at the world entirely different. Their thought process was different. Did they always think differently? I don’t think that anyone can answer that question. All that I believe is that what led these pained people to come to the conclusion that suicide was the answer was that at that time they were not thinking the way that many of us think. What puzzles survivors is the fact that they had no idea that this loved one was contemplating such a drastic act? What brought this loved one to contemplate such an awful act? Survivors cannot fathom what could have been so awful in their loved one’s life. Survivors often blame themselves for the suicide of their loved ones. No one is to blame for this final act. These loved ones had a completely different thought process. One that is diametrically opposed to the way that survivors think. Mental illness is reason for this type of thinking. Mental illness is at the root cause of the vast, vast numbers of suicide.
As always, I want to assure each and every member of our LOSS family of my thoughts and prayers on a daily basis during my quiet time and I encourage each member of our family to do the same for each other –especially for those who have recently joined our family.
Keep On Keepin’ On,