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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Lets talk about suicide

I thought we could talk about suicide today and hear what others have to say about it and how it has affected their lives. There are so many misconceptions about it and a stigma attached to it. The word for suicide in my mother tongue, Afrikaans, translated straight to English reads “self-murder”. What an awful word to use to describe one’s passing. Here in South Africa suicide is against the law and if you attempt it you can be arrested for attempted murder. People still think you go straight to hell if you die from suicide. My son Emile died by suicide and I had in laws and an acquaintance told me that his soul will never rest. Can you imagine the horror of that thought?
It is frowned upon all over the world and communities still point the finger at the immediate family members as the cause of it. “You must have been a bad parent or done something for that to happen to you,” it is said. What most don’t know is that when you have decided in your mind to take your own life, nothing anyone can say or do will change your mind. Most don’t even talk about it and just go ahead and do it. It has nothing to do with parents or loved ones, it is getting rid of the pain that is the ultimate goal. Unfortunately it is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.
There are many signs when a person is planning this last and fateful step but it is only recognized after the fact. Emile started giving his things away, and he was very quiet the last two weeks of his life. I thought he was contemplating life and what he should do in his future. When a decision like this is made in their minds they feel a quiet calm descend because they have the solution to their problems and pain. Some may even
appear happy and content with life. We ask ourselves all kinds of futile questions after the suicide of someone we love, but we will never have the answers to our questions, until we meet them again on the other side.
 Until we are in that same situation we can never imagine what they were thinking or going through. I know if Emile knew how much unbearable pain and agony I would suffer for years, he would never have done what he did. Every thought of life and the people they love disappear from their minds. All they can think about its getting away from this turmoil and incredible unbearable emotional distress. They want to kill the pain assaulting their whole being, not themselves. When someone has cancer you will feel compassion and sympathy for them, so why can’t people feel the same about suicide. It is an illness of the mind and it kills most in the end. Nobody who is in their right mind will do this to themselves and others. I think they lose their selves somewhere along the way and can’t function in a normal way any more.
Blessed Be and Namaste,