Ruth Jeanine Henderson 8/14/2014 - 7/27/2011My mother once signed a Do Not Resuscitate Order, and then died in the hospital. The doctor asked me if she had one, and I said, "No." My mother lived for another 5 years. Bedridden, in pain, constantly going in and out of the hospital, slowly dying and making bad decision after bad decision about her personal care. Then she found out her replacement kidney was failing, and that she would have to go back on dialysis, and she didn't want to go through that again. She told me she wanted to die, and I told her I understood, and the worst part is, I really did understand. I let my mother commit suicide in the only legal way possible, by not accepting medically life saving treatments. I loved my mother and wish, every day, that she were here. But not like that. Not in pain, and wishing she could die.
Their Pain Doesn't Need Your PermissionBefore you tell someone who is hurting that suicide is selfish, and make them feel worse, you should really take a look at yourself. Consider how selfish it is, that you would demand someone you supposedly care about should continue to suffer on a daily basis, when you are not feeling their pain. You are a bystander, that is watching someone you love at the point that they can only see one way out, and you are saying, "Man you are an asshole." This doesn't mean you should condone or encourage their self-destruction. Definitely don't stand by and just let them jump off the edge of reality, but also don't tell them they shouldn't jump just so you will feel better. When someone is at this point it isn't about you. Your feelings don't come into it, past the point that you will miss your friend, mother, father, lover, and you want their pain to end, without their end.
GabrielI almost committed suicide in 1995. If someone had told me, when i was trying to figure out the best place to stab myself to end it quickly, that I was being selfish, I would probably have used my knife on them. I was in PAIN. I was at the point that I could no longer see a reason to exist. My life was over, already, as far as I was concerned. I just hadn't stopped breathing, yet. Only two things saved me at that time. I happened to talk to a really good friend that asked me to just wait one more day, and the next day I thought of who was going to have to clean this up. I didn't care if I lived or died, just who was going to have to clean up my mess. Some people will say that means I didn't really want to die, and that may be true, today, but in that moment, I did want to. I just knew my mother would be the one to have to clean up the mess. I wasn't a good person, I just found an excuse not to do it.
Oh Captain My CaptainIf you think none of this crossed Robin Williams mind before he committed suicide, you are delusional. Everyone has problems, they think are too big. Some people find the help they need, others don't. Robin Williams did not, and that's not his fault. He didn't see another way out, realistically. He had a family, and friends, and people that cared about him, and loved him. That doesn't mean he let them down. That means they didn't see what he saw, and he didn't want them to. He didn't want them to be burdened with his pain, but didn't know how to wait one more day.
This is truly the first time I have ever cried because someone I didn't know died. I have been watching Robin Williams since the Mork and Mindy days. I saw Robin Williams Live at the Met when I was a kid. That was the first time I saw a long form comedy concert. I fell in love with Comedy as Art at that time. This was also the first time I recognized that most comedians are making fun of their pain. They are telling you, "my life sucks or at least used to," but in a way that doesn't make you cry. They have found a way to let you know they are just as fucked up as you are, but in a manner that doesn't hurt. Robin Williams was a fucking genius. I didn't like all his movies or stand-up, but I had a lot of respect for the fact that he could go through all he went through and still keep it together for as long as he did. I didn't know him personally, but I have listened to stories from people who did, and I really do weep for those who were friends with him. He wasn't a coward or selfish. He was extremely brave and selfless for a very long time, but nothing lasts forever. Not even laughter.
O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done, The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won, The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting, While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring; But O heart! heart! heart! O the bleeding drops of red, Where on the deck my Captain lies, Fallen cold and dead. O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells; Rise up- for you the flag is flung- for you the bugle trills, For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths- for you the shores a-crowding, For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning; Here Captain! dear father! This arm beneath your head! It is some dream that on the deck, You’ve fallen cold and dead. My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still, My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will, The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done, From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won; Exult O shores, and ring O bells! But I with mournful tread, Walk the deck my Captain lies, Fallen cold and dead.