I was reading through another blog yesterday. I had stumbled upon it because the Washington Post had ran one of the posts. The author was a lady who had apparently lost her father to suicide. In this particular post she was thanking all the strangers who had helped her in the moment she received that devastating phone call with the terrible news. I went back and began reading her past entries about her struggle with the loss. She had many questions, and her pain was deep.
I’ve been thinking a lot about that over the last 18 hours or so. I do believe that we get caught up in the “why” of life so often. It’s not wrong to ask why. Kids ask why all the time because they genuinely what to fond out the answer. The problem with the question as an adult is that it falls unanswered all too many times. Sometimes there just is no answer to the “why.” At least, not when the “why” is left so broad. Many times we need to narrow it down. For example, if a kid does something they shouldn’t, we might ask them, “Why did you do that?” Their response nine times out if ten is, “I don’t know.” because the question is too broad.
What if we were to ask the child something more specific? Like, “Why did you feel the need to hit your brother?” Or, “Why where you in this room to begin with?” It depends on the situation as how to get more specific, and many times you may still get: “I don’t know.” However, being more specific with the question “why” seems like it would be invaluable.
Then again, with suicide, I’m not sure we’ll ever get to the answer. However, being one who struggles in this dark place I can tell you a few of the answers. These may not fit for everyone, but I believe they fit a good portion of people who reside in a dark place of depression.
When someone is at the point of suicide they are thinking the world is better off without them. I think about my kids (3), who I know would all handle it differently. I think how for the oldest it might make her stronger to deal with such a large pain early in life. The middle child will be sad, but able to move on due to her age. The youngest will end up with very little memory of me, and that’s the comfort I receive as I think through it all.
For the blogger, who was a grown woman, I believe the father may have seen her as a strong woman who could handle such a tragedy. I would venture to say he, too, saw it as a step that would actually strengthen her. My darkness is not heavy today, and I see the warped thinking this presents. However, trust me when I say, it makes perfect sense in the moment of darkness and with suicide on the horizon.
“The world would be a better place without me,” is a common thought for those who are suicidal, and in the moment justification is everything. So, the answer to “why” for the suicidal is often, “Because it’s for the best.” Even if that’s not the truth via reality.
“There is but one truly serious philosophical problem and that is suicide.” – Albert Camus