When I read this article yesterday (note: now a week ago) I suddenly understood much more about what happened to my Pop in 2010. I may not agree with every conclusion this man has come to, but the aspects of fearlessness, isolation, and the belief that your death is worth more than your life rang very true to me. My Pop was a Navy Seal, Merchant Marine, and triple black belt. If that doesn’t require some fearlessness I’m not sure what does. Isolation was his life. His wife had dementia, they lived in the middle of nowhere, and my dad was the only one around. As for believing his death was worth more than his life, I think he believed that it would be better for Mim (my grandmother) that she go into a home for care, which he couldn’t force himself to do, and thereby removed himself from the picture. I still believe that if she had been at home when the breaking point came, that my Pop would have killed her and himself.
And as weird as this may sound to some, I get that. I really do. If a person believes life isn’t worth living anymore I can understand wanting it to be over. Let me make this crystal clear though; I’m not promoting the practice, I just happen to believe it’s up to that person to make their own decisions. I’ve watched the documentary How To Die In Oregon, which is about self determination (legally) with drugs provided by a doctor. Unlike with Dignitas in Switzerland where anyone, tourist or local, can suicide with assistance under any circumstance, in Oregon (and now Washington state), you must be diagnosed terminally ill with 6 months or less to live. I think that’s an option anyone should have.
For now, this sums up what I want to say about the suicides that have touched my life. I promise not every entry will be depressing or dark. I have a good life and am extremely fortunate and I recognize this. Much of my life is wonderful. But the balance to that are the bad times, which is what these entries have been about. You can’t have one without the other.