Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Suicide is Pointless

This past weekend I attended the memorial service of a young man who died well before his time. I say this, because he took his own life in the last few days of February in his NYC apartment. He was 41 years old.

His name was Christopher, and I did not know him well. In fact, I never would have attended his service had I not been the guest of someone he had gone to school with. I don't really want to say more on this subject, for fear of revealing his full identity.

Despite the fact that Chris came from a strong Roman Catholic Italian family, he was unable to have a proper service in the Catholic Church because he took his own life. Apparently some residents of Vatican City are in fact without sin, and fond of throwing stones.

Instead his modest service was held in a Queens funeral home, presided over by a kind-faced Irish priest whose soft words and sharp accent lent a small sense of peace to a deeply troubled group of mourners.

I was most likely the most detached member of the audience, as I only had the pleasure of meeting Chris once by chance on a NYC street corner. However, there was something about him that I liked immediately.

He was politically right wing, which is normally not my cup of tea. However, he was an aspiring film-maker and full of enthusiasm. If you have spent some time in the film business, you understand how difficult it is to keep up that level of energy and optimism. On top of that, he had done many things in his life. He had served in the military, and he had a master's degree in journalism.

As I sat there, in the back row of the small funeral home, I was struck by the utter senselessness of it all. Chris' father had died a few years ago from cancer, but his mother, sister and two brothers sat up front listening closely to the priest. They were all clearly devastated, but it was his older brother that was taking it the hardest. With almost every mention of his baby brother, his body shuttered violently and tears streamed down his face.

I am an only child, but I can imagine what he must have been feeling. This was his little brother. He was supposed to protect him and look out for him. Why had he not seen the signs? What more could he have done?

Before the service I got a chance to briefly speak with his sister. She told me, "Chris had his moments of depression and sadness, but who doesn't?" "We would have done anything for him."

There are cases where depression can be purely chemical and not situational. This is by far the most dangerous form it can take. I have only experienced that type of depression once, several years ago, as a withdrawal symptom from a prescribed drug I was coming off. Fortunately for me, the chemical darkness completely lifted as quickly as it came eight days earlier.

I will never minimize that type of depression as long as I live. It is extremely dark and scary, but most of all there is little one can do about it without help of some kind.

I am not sure exactly what I am trying to say in this post, except that suicide is tragic and in my opinion completely senseless. No one really knows if it is an effective escape from hardship. What is certain, is the pain that is left behind.

You never know when things will turn around. You never know when the clouds will part and the sun will shine again. Until that time, you must simply persevere and see things out.

Don't spare yourself because the Catholic Church condemns suicide. Spare yourself because there is beauty in the world. There are good things in absolutely everyone. There is always some hope around the corner, and most importantly there are people who love you.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Blogger John said...

There is beauty in the world. There are good things in absolutely everyone. There is always some hope around the corner, and most importantly there are people who love you.

It's True...
Funeral Home Service.

9:50 AM  
Blogger Mathman6293 said...

This post hits home after today. Thanks.

10:17 PM  
Blogger Listener said...

Hello Peter, I read your story, about the suicide, and can understand exactly where you are coming from. I have also watched your beautiful You Tube Videos, you have a beautiful knack for writing as well as film. Being a Nurse myself and an Empath, I have seen the mental health system go down the tubes. I have seen people walk back out of the ER that had no business being on the street. But because of lack of facilites and insurance, back out they go, and most don't take their medication. It is scary to think that the person next to you on the street is a psychopath, sociopath or paranoid schizophrenic not taking medication. I have been a victim of depression at one time, as part of an illness I have. Doctor's are quick to medicate, send you to a counselor that sits there and listens to you for an hour then says see you next week. I felt it was a waste of my time, as I could sit at home and talk to the mirror and get the same effect. I'm not saying all mental health providers are like that, because there are very good ones, but so many times their hands are tied. That young man who committed suicide, only 41, no one will probably ever know why he one saw the signs, or no one took them seriously. Everyone is so busy in their own little worlds to listen to other people and really HEAR what they are saying. I have only been to NYC once, but I'm sure its easy to get lost there physically as well as big and busy, and still remembering 9/11 in your face everyday. I find it so so sad that because he was a catholic that the religion refused to let him have a service in their church, or probably let him be buried in one of their cemetaries. You would think the catholic church has moved further in time then to be so cruel to a family and deceased loved one. God does not judge a person when he dies by the method of death, he forgives everyone for their sins. Why the catholics cannot is beyond me. Our world is changing and things will become harder, more people will commit suicide, and more men who have lost their jobs will kill their families. The war seems to never end. More young men are coming home in body bags. We all need to reach out to our neighbors and people who need help and do our best to help them and always have a kind word to say and a smile for them. Above all we need to LISTEN to each other, and HEAR what they are saying. My life is not a bed of roses, but I still get up each day and do the best I can, and I pray for change and peace. Being an empath makes me susceptible to take on others emotions and pain, some days Iam so sad and I don't know why and then their are days when rage courses thru me that I'm picking up from another person. I work doing spirit releasement, to those who have not crossed over into the light and gone home. I don't do ghost hunting. Sometimes its hard for me when we go to a home that is haunted to feel all the different emotions, and there are times that it follows me home and the emotions last for days. But I keep doing it anyway because to see a spirit who has been trapped for 100's of years go into the light is worth all the pain and emotion I feel. It is sad to see someone die and leave this world, but I believe they go to a better place, where there is no pain anymore, so the young man who took his life is free of his pain now, but sadly it is the ones left behind that suffer, and feel the guilt of not knowing or why did they not see. I always tell someone who is talking about suicide to think about what it will do to the people they leave behind, their children, their siblings their parents. The guilt they will feel, sometimes it really makes them stop and think and change their minds, and also give time to get them some help. I hope no one ever blows off anyone who talks about committing suicide, because that is their cry for help..Thank you for your beautiful touching words and your beautiful videos, thank you for reaching out to the world. May the Angels watch over you.

9:36 PM  
Blogger Dusty said...

My son's closest friend Chris also committed suicide at the age of 32. He left a young wife and 4 little kids behind.

Our Chris was bi-polar. The government(Medicare) cut off his meds for some friggin stupid reason and he was gallantly fighting to get back on them when he finally tossed in the towel.

My ode to Chris and trying to understand the whys of it all:

8:48 PM  
Blogger Katy said...

try not to judge the ones who let go-
heart break can be staggeringly painful and depression can be suffocating...i miss my friend jcb every day...

11:05 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home