Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Blog Share

I am participating in a Blog Share. Basically what this means is that you sign up and write a post that is anonymously posted on another's blog. It's a way to say some things you need to, get some things off your chest and do it all in a forum that you won't be recognized. I think it is kind of cool thing. So here is the following post written by one of the Blog Share participants. Please be as kind to this person as you are to me.

Title: They say "suicide is painless."

I'm thinking about killing myself.

Now, calm down, before you start trying to figure out how to call the suicide hotline on behalf of an anonymous blogger...I'm not suicidal.

I've just been thinking a lot lately, and here's the thing: I have a living will. Copies have been placed in the hands of trusted family/friends, all of whom nodded in understanding and said something along the lines of "I completely understand." Sometimes adding, "I have one, too." I don't want to spend the end of my life with a devastated body hooked up to tubes and wires, if there's no hope of recovery, particularly if my brain is essentially gone or going fast. People "get" this, I find.

But I also don't want to spend the end of my life alone and lonely, or desperate and homeless, if it comes to that. (This economy, it scares me.) I don't. If I somehow outlive my family and friends, not to mention my financial resources...well, that seems as untenable to me as being hooked up to machines. The thought of living out my days in the kind of nursing home available to people of limited means...without the advantage of family close by to check in on me's appalling.

I don't want to end up like that. And it occurred to me recently that--I don't HAVE to. If I find myself someday facing a situation that would be devastating to my soul...why can't I take whatever steps necessary to prevent that? To me, it seems like another kind of living will. I'd rather go on to whatever comes next--and I do believe in life after death. Am I worried about eternal damnation, and all that? Well...I believe that God is benevolent and he/she/it will understand. I can't wrap my head around the idea that God would punish me for deciding that I'm ready to take another step on the journey, if this one has become an intolerably painful slog through emotional mud.

Don't get me wrong...I fervently hope that I live a long, rich life, surrounded by loved ones until the very end, when I die peacefully in my sleep at a ripe old age. But if circumstances dictate a different story--why not seize control of my own destiny? Make quality of life at least as important as quantity of life? Make a Backup Plan, if you will.

I thought this seemed very practical. I shared the Plan with my best friend. The reaction was, let's say, a bit different than the reaction to the living will. So I'm not telling anybody else. Well...only you. And you can keep a secret, right? Ssshhhhh.....


Courtney said...

Wow. You certainly are brave for sharing with us, Anonyposter.

I believe everyone is in full control of their own lives ... and deaths. I sincerely hope nothing happens in your life that would make you want to end it, but if it comes to that, it is ultimately your life and your decision. I wouldn't want to spend my last years in an awful nursing home or hooked up to any machines either.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes I have those thoughts, too. Days were it's be easier to check out then to stand in life's longest grocery store line behind the woman with 8 kids, a cart jammed with nonsense, who's paying with food stamps.

The thing that gets me, that keeps me here, is that thought that I'd miss out on something spectacular. Something beyond my hopes or dreams or imagination. And there's something about struggling to the finish line that makes the victory that much more savory.

Anonymous said...

I we have moment where we'd rather quit than keep going in the rat race. But the thing that keeps me going is the notion that I'd miss something spectacular. Something cooler than I could have dreamed or imagined or hoped for. And, truth is, triumph with a little dash of struggle makes the victory that much more delicious.

Sra said...

Sounds like a sound attitude to me. But then, I don't believe in anything after death. But also, what if there is a god, and he/she/it is actually more like the vengeful Old Testament god and not like the benevolent New Testament one? Of course, maybe god was an 8 year old kid playing with his creation erector set, and he's long since grown tired of playing with us or caring what happens to us. I mean, who really knows?

Michelle, Queen of Everything said...

Obviously, suicide is a tragic situation both for the person who chooses it and the people they leave behind.

However, I believe in a person's right to choose death when they are faced with a catastrophic injury, terminal illness, or other situation that makes life a sentence worse than death.

I believe in God and I can't see that He would damn you for taking your own life. I know there are people who would disagree with that statement, but that's how I feel. I believe God is gracious and merciful and I can't see Him judging you in this situation. If you really look at it, there are so many people who are alive only because of medical technology that is fairly recent. How could you be judged for refusing treatment that didn't even exist one hundred years ago? You would be kept alive "unnaturally", only because of the intervention of man. NOT God.

I am a cancer survivor and I am so grateful that we do have the medicine that allows me to be alive right now. However, it was an intervention that I welcomed. I wouldn't want that intervention forced upon me under certain circumcstances.

Thanks for posting this. I'm sure it will give us all something to think about today.

Anonymous said...

I get what you are saying especially about living in a nursing home. My grandmother is in one right now to recover from a broken hip and every time I go to see her I just feel so awful for the other residents. I can't imagine living life like that every single day. But I also don't know if I would have the nerve to do anything about it in terms of what you are saying.

Bree said...

I'm conflicted on this one. On one hand I don't want to live off a machine. I would hate that. And I would hate to tie my family to that. I would never want to live in constant pain, but I've always thought of suicide as such a selfish act. To me suicide is something you do when your world revolves around you. And I do believe in God. Not a vengeful one, but a kind and loving and forgiving God. But am I willing to HOPE that he would forgive me for taking my own life? I don't know that I would be willing to take that chance.

Thank you to all of you participating in this discussion. It is nice to see so many different points of view.

New Duck said...

I would be TERRIFIED to publish this post! I figured the comments would be really rude, but it seems like people mostly agree with you. I also feel like it's a personal choice, especially if you're not leaving someone else behind. On one hand, I'd be nervous about playing God. But on the other hand, it's your life, and you should be able to do what you want with it.

-R- said...

I can see both sides of this argument, and I don't know which side is right. I don't think I could ever kill myself though. I just don't think I could do it.

Christine said...

I don't disagree with you at all...and as someone who has been suicidal (not now or currently!) the things that keep me here are (1) the thought of leaving people behind and how that would crush them and (2) the idea that I might miss something good. If everyone I know and care about is gone or there is no chance that I will experience things in a meaningful way again, well I don't see the point of prolonging things, you know.

Tracy Crowe Jones said...

I nearly killed myself a few years ago. I was actually less than 10 minutes away from being dead when a policeman found me and broke into my car to give me CPR. It took months for me to not be angry that I had survivied. Now, I'm glad I'm alive (and happier than ever). But death doesn't intimidate me. As I said, I truly am happy, but if something happened and I died tomorrow I'd be okay with that.