Monday, December 9, 2013

A topic no one wants to talk about

I once quoted the Poem by Robert Frost; "Stopping by a Woods on a Snowy Evening" in an early post on this blog.  A friend that I worked with at the time, who was having his own battle with a terminal disease came to me and said; "After I read your post, I thought you were going to commit suicide!"
I told him, no.  I was fine.  Barry died last year after a long battle with cancer.  He fought for normalcy up to the end.  He worked far longer than he should have, yet work was his normalcy.  So, in retrospect, he did things right.

Suicide is something no one wants to discuss.  The neurologist I owe my long time existence too used to ask me, every visit, if I was suicidal.  I always told he no.  Once she asked me if I was suicidal and I replied, no.  She then asked me if I was homicidal, I told her; "No, I liked women!"  She laughed! And that was good because she seldom smiled, well enough laughed.  But suicide is not a laughing matter.

I cannot tell you that I have not considered suicide because I have.  If you will be honest with yourself, most of you have too.  In that difficult time,  probably as a teenager or young adult, when all seemed too bleak, you thought about it for a moment.  Then, you decided suicide made no sense, and you were correct!

If you are a true Christian.  A faithful follower of Jesus Christ, suicide is probably repulsive to you.  Why, because God gave us life!  Then, because we were sinners, he enacted His perfect plan for our salvation, the birth, life, death, torture, Crucifixion, death, burial, resurrection, and accent ion, of Jesus Christ!  Our Savior defeated death once and for all!  Since we do not have the power or the right to start life, we do not have the power or right to end our own life.  One of the Ten Commandments says;  "Thou shalt not murder."  It does not say thou shalt not kill!  There is a difference.   Murder is taking an innocent life.  Killing is what soldiers do and that is covered in the Old and New Testament were we are told to follow our leaders and they will be held accountable for the actions they order us t do.  Suicide is murder.  Self murder!

Just the same, I can understand fully, how someone, in an impossible situation, facing pain and suffering much greater that he or she can endure alone, may decide to end their life.  It is an action that I cannot judge.  "Judge not, lest you be judged."

For those of us with LBD, decisions come hard.  In my personal life, I was once very decisive.  Now, I have difficulties deciding when to go to the bathroom!  And sometimes, I get than decision wrong!  For instance, a few months ago, we decided to place our names on the waiting list for a local Continuing Care Retirement Community.  Both of us agreed, but now, I am having second thoughts.  Why,  costs, the act of moving somewhere again, what to do with all our possessions that won't fit in our new place, the thought of giving up what little independence I have, and most of all, the idea that moving there cements the fact that I will never get better.  It is the final move, the beginning of the end.  The point of no return.

So, Robert Frost's poem again has meaning to me.  While I fantasize that I have "miles to go before I sleep." reality tells me different and that depresses me.  Depression leads me to deep, dark, thoughts.  And those thoughts inevitably lead to speeding up the process.  If the endgame is death, and if I am only going to get worse, why no bypass the next downturn and just end this now?!

But then, my mind shifts focus to things I still want to do.  My wife, son, grandsons, family and friends that I love to be with.   I am not afraid of death because Jesus has already defeated death.  "In the twinkling of an eye" after I take my last breath, I will be in the presents of the Lord in Heaven.  I have no fear!  But, I don't want to have the sin of murdering myself as the first topic the Lord brings up!  So, I will stay here until God calls me home.  He has work for me to do and I will do my best to accomplish that work.

If you are suicidal, or homicidal, don't hide it.  Talk to someone, your Pastor, your doctor, you spouse, a friend, or even the suicide Hot Line!  Talk it out!  Put your emotions and feelings out there for all to see.  Don't hide your pain like I do.  Why, because your friends and family can help you bear that pain, if you permit them too.


  1. It is an interesting blog (I just happened to bump into it). On this topic, I kinda agree.....we have some fate of sorts at the end is never something you can be clear about. I admit, I'd rather not be a serious burden to anyone beyond a certain point of health. The problem is....some folks end up seeing one as an inspiration at times. I noted that with Pope John Paul II. Note, I'm not Catholic....and a Baptist guy would always be careful not to admit any admiration for Catholic popes.....but folks came to note his age and health as issues, but then he came to inspire with wisdom, wit and comments near the last year or two of life. Maybe our ultimate purpose isn't some grand stage episode, but simply passing some knowledge along to others. Anyway, just my humble two cents on the topic. Keep up the blog, I think it's a decent work, and quietly passes observations along to others who will follow.

  2. Thanks again, for another bravely honest post.