I've had difficulty releasing this post but I think it's time:
In the past I have written about people that I have dealt with in a funeral home setting who were going through the throes of trying to understand a suicide. I've expressed the opinion, vaguely, that this type of death could somewhat be understood because the person or persons who committed this "act" must have been in a terrific amount of pain, either physically or emotionally, or both of these feelings somehow combined. I am still of the opinion that in order to take your own life one must be in dire straits, however until recently I was never literally part of the actual event, thereby not truly able to understand the emotions of the people left behind.
Several Monday mornings ago however, I was baptised and was given the unfortunate opportunity to experience a suicide from another perspective. I didn't counsel a virtual stranger who walked through my door at an appointed time to assist in taking care of their dead loved one; a family members spouse took his life early that Monday morning after a long battle with cancer (which by the way he had won) who was on his way to full recovery and within thirty minutes of his discovery I was contacted. I knew he had been ill, and also knew he would recover so that mornings events were the farthest thing from mine or anyone else's mind. Within twenty minutes I had flight arrangements and was on my way to assist as best I could. The next few days were like a roller coaster almost out of control.
Apparently when he was initially deemed terminal the thoughts of ending his life had arisen within him, were shared as well as understood yet were never acted upon; the decision was made to go ahead and attempt to beat the disease, and as I mentioned earlier, he had. Quite honestly if he had still been classified as terminal, one could understand his reasoning and although it would have still been painful, acceptance would have been much, much easier. No note or letter was left behind so there is no way of ever knowing the true "why" behind this. It is very simple and easy to say "it's not your fault", "you can't beat yourself up over this" and the like but in essence the people left behind feel inadequate, feel as though they have been dumped, perhaps even somewhat responsible.
Some may say too bad, it was his life and his choice, just deal with it while others, including myself, feel that this particular instance was a very selfish act, but let me explain myself before you end this read. I truly am of the belief that we should be in total control of our lives and have the right to end it at will, however we also have a responsibility to those we leave behind. When someone loves another, explanations are not only expected, I believe they are deserved. Trying not to speak ill of the dead, I don't blame this man for anything he did; I can't say whether he should or shouldn't have done what he did and I realize that he had to be utterly desperate for a way out, a fixative measure. In summation I guess I have to feel lucky that I have never felt the pain I feel caused this.
I still stand firm however, on the feeling that it was his right, but I also feel it was his obligation to his wife, the one he had the contract with, the one he loved and who loved him in return to at the very least leave some sort of clue as to why he felt that this was the only means available to him. You see it may have solved his problems, but by doing so he has created an entire barrel of new ones for someone else: physically, emotionally as well as monetarily. I guess this stance could be construed as selfish as well but we all have some sort of responsibility to the people we interact with and even though she would have tried to help him with a different means, I think a simple explanation would have sufficed.