A guy we don’t know through some people we don’t know through some people we do know killed himself recently.

I’m sure it’s not that uncommon; I suspect many unexpected deaths that they don’t list causes for in the newspaper are suicide-based, more than we care to admit.

What bothers me is the response.

The condemnation of this fellow is unanimous – what an asshole for leaving his wife and children, and in his own home!

This, from people who will advocate for nearly anyone who has a “disorder”, as long as they don’t know them personally. The homeless are just broken. Oh, you can’t hold them responsible for that. They have anxiety, and get this, DEPRESSION.

And yet, the condemnation of this poor fellow is ASSHOLE, LOSER, IDIOT, MONSTER.

I don’t know anything about the situation that led to all this, so I don’t know the man’s motivations or the attitudes and behaviours of those in his life, but I suspect if he was willing to go that far, his thoughts about himself probably ran much the same.


And as someone who has lived with depression since I was twelve and thought about snuffing it more times than I can count, I can tell you that someone showing a little empathy, some care and concern, could very well have turned it around.

My go-to is “this too shall pass”, which reminds me when I’m feeling like that just to keep moving and the situation will change. Sometimes, that takes days. Sometimes, it just needs one other person to say something nice, or to engage you in something that takes your mind off of it.

Writing helps. Better out than in.

I don’t know anything, again, and the man or his wife, his kids, his job, whatever. Maybe he just found out he had stage 4 cancer and didn’t want to put his family through that. Maybe he was into some shady shit and his whole world was about to blow apart. His reasons might be entirely different from my own.

I don’t know if she was supportive and he was suffering psychological issues beyond what she could deal with, but from the sound of it, it was fairly unexpected, so who knows?

Either way, I think some empathy is due. He felt enough pain to make the one choice that truly abdicates one’s responsibility toward this life in which we live. That, in itself, should trigger questions as to why, not condemnations. That solves nothing, and for the other people in your life that may suffer in depression, and may be thinking of self-harm, it sends a clear message – what a worthless, idiotic, monstrous asshole you would be for committing such an act, and by extension, even considering it (which we sufferers inevitably do).

I can guarantee, because I had the fucking thought, the reaction there from those who are still suffering, was “they don’t understand the pain”, followed by guilt and a further spiral of anger, because again, the world proves it does not care about you, that it devalues you, that you are a worthless, idiotic, asshole loser and now, yes, a MONSTER.

Of course, these same people show empathy when all it requires is meaningless words to people not involved or a post on social media, but when it comes to supporting or sympathizing with someone in reality?

That’s how you know these people are more interested in status and reputation and not in empathy or helping those who suffer.

So, sorry, guy I didn’t know. You were suffering to the point where you felt leaving this life was the only reasonable choice. You didn’t have (or didn’t know you had) people around you who would support you, who would help you and you made the ultimate choice.

And while we can debate endlessly the nature of the act – cowardice and irresponsibility versus relief and the end of suffering – we can spare a minute to think of the pain of those left behind and the departed.

He made a bad choice, driven by bad feelings, caught in the tunnel vision of despair, in which one sees no options and none are presented.

Perhaps if someone had taken the time to pay attention, and provide an option or a shoulder to cry on, instead of ASSHOLE, LOSER, IDIOT, MONSTER, he might not be gone at all.

Target: 700 words
Written: 63 words, novella: The Mungk

Read: Hans Christian Anderson's Fairy Tales
Comics: American Vampire: Second Cycle 7-10
Music: The One, Foo Fighters

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