“Why Suicide Is Painless Makes A Great Theme Song But The Reality Is Suicide Is Painful As Hell”

With just a few beats of a “Theme Song” from 1972 – 1983, you knew the Iconic Television series M*A*S*H was about to be shown.  There were favorite characters that each of us had, Hawkeye, Trapper John, Radar, Klinger, Hot Lips , and the list goes on and on.  These were fictional characters, but there is nothing fictional, in this article I  have struggled to write.  “Why Suicide Is Painless Makes A Great Theme Song But The Reality Is Suicide Is Painful As Hell.”  There are  four  categories, that won’t be addressed, the “Suicide” of one of my children, a spouse, parent, or sibling, that is an experience I have not lived through yet.  My heart goes out to those who have.  Does that mean that I have not felt the “Painful” aftermath of “Suicide” of blood relatives?  No, I like many of you have felt that “Painful As Hell” feeling, and for me there have been five.  I write nonfiction stories, “Why Suicide Is Painless Makes A Great Theme Song But The Reality Is Suicide Is Painful As Hell,” as a storyteller I must write.   It’s part of the healing process for me, not only myself but others, who are experiencing, a similar  event.  My friend and fellow Veteran took his life four months ago,  this is the first article I have written since that day.  It may be a little raw at times but it will always be real, laced with empathy and compassion. With 22 Veterans a day taking their lives, I will keep posting this article, it just my way of getting the point accross.

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There is a painful hole, that is left, both in our lives and hearts,  and for many, everything changes and a new way of life must be embarked upon.  The hole you see in the photograph, was made by a boat, that washed up on a small beach on the bank of a river I see every day.  It’s my special place, we all have one, that place we don’t share with anyone, that serene peaceful place we go to commune with ourselves.  The hole is an integral piece of the story, the “Painful” aftermath of “Suicide” has turned my special place into hallowed ground, and I am  sure I am not alone.  The waves and tide have gradually filled in the hole above with new sand, that’s just the way nature works.   The river bottom has healed, but for those left behind after “Suicide” the hole left in our lives, in one form or another, remains open, as we wrestle with the most haunting question,  “Why?”  This is where it gets raw and real, for me, the why won’t bring my friend back, and only he knew the answer to the question of why he chose “Suicide.”   The stark “reality”  is, he took the “why” with him.

“Why Suicide Is Painless Makes A Great Theme Song But The Reality Is Suicide Is Painful As Hell,”  is a story that is uniquely mine.  There may be some similarities, that others can relate to, and that is to be expected, simply because, in each case a human being has died.

The Painful Feeling of Anger Or Guilt, After Suicide:

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I have two things in life I am  passionate about, telling stories and taking photographs.  I take photographs of nature, then use them  to express the emotion, in what I am writing about.  It is said a picture is worth a thousand words, and this one, says a great deal about the anger, felt after “Suicide” What normally is a quiet and serene place, as you can see, the river is as angry as hell.  Hear is what it normally looks like.

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A quiet serene  place, that my friend chose to die.  My place, my private get away from this sometimes insane world.  Was I mad at him?   Not one second in time didIwaste on something I could do nothing about.  It was what it was.  What I was angry  about is there was nothing I could have done to stop it.  That guilt demon tried to work on me relentlessly, has it tried to inject its poisonous venom in you?   I was angry that I did not get a call saying “man I am in deep trouble, can we talk for awhile.” But angry at him no, quite frankly that’s a waste of time,  better time is spent in the understanding and prevention of Suicide.  What makes someone think, that the only answer is taking their life, thats the only “Why” that we should be having a conversation about.    My passion for writing was stopped “dead” in its tracks upon his death, but my passion for taking photographs, and creating beautiful things, only intensified.  Once this article is published, the inspiration for writing will return.  It’s that final stage of my healing process, and my friend “Charlie” would expect nothing less.   It’s ok to heal and move on, does that mean we forget about them, and the impact they had on our lives?    The answer is a flat no.  In “Charlie’s” case it was an honor for me to have known him, and the things he did for his fellow veterans, quite frankly are too numerous to count.

He was a Veterans Advocate,  and he fought like a Lion, to ensure that Veterans got a fair and equitable shake.  He worked with the homeless, and he knew what it felt like, for at onetime he was homeless himself.  He fought as if he were in combat, and in a sense he was, combat with the broken Veterans Administration, and the constant “lip service” that make good press.  And  still to this very day, the number of Veteran Suicides are grossly if not purposely understated.

Suicided Is Painful For All Involved:

Think about this, and sit a dwell with it for awhile.  Do we dare to think that “Suicide is Painless” for the one the commits the act?  Do we think there is no pain associated with knowing, that once it is done there is no coming back.  No tomorrows, no chance to change the situation, nothing but despair, so deep that the pain becomes so overwhelming Suicide is the only answer, the only way out.  Suicide is one hell of a painful decision to make.  This is where the raw and real part comes in.  If you think I am full of it you can respond if you wish, there is a comment section at the top of the page.  Can you honestly, at this very moment contemplate, without feeling any pain, think about using what ever method you choose to end it all now… right now.  If you can, then you better get on a hot line and ask for help.  But if you can’t what overwhelming sense of pain did you feel.  So if we think it’s is painless, maybe we should think again.

Can All Painful Suicides Be Prevented:

Sadly the answer is no.  Why do I say that, it’s part of  life, and has been around since the beginning  of mankind.  At times we have been there and seen it with our own eyes.   I have, and so have many of you, and as hard as we tried to intervene, there was no stopping it, and again a human being died.  That is an experience I would not wish anyone to see.  They have not written and  Theme Song That Can Even console anyone from that type experience.  I have often heard and been asked the following question, and now I pose the question to you.

Is Suicide A Selfish Act:

Selfish on who’s part?  What I am referring to is this, and at the time of this writing it was a  recent event.  The young woman, that moved to Oregon, where assisted Suicide in legal.  She suffered from an inoperable form of brain cancer, for which there was no known treatment.  She talked about it openly and clearly stated why she chose to end her life, on her own terms, in lieu of enduring a terribly painful death.  In short it revolved around quality versus quantity of life.  Was that a selfish act?  Ultimately is was Suicide, was it a Painless decision for her or her loved ones?  From the videos she made and shared, it was abundantly clear,  the choice was Painful as Hell for everyone involved.  Who would have been the selfish ones, if they had asked her to remain living, and let nature run its course?  Difficult  questions, for a difficult decision, and who are we to judge the Why when it comes to Suicide?   Ironically Charlie and I had talked at length about, quality versus quantity  of life, and no one knew what the real quality of his life was but him.  The “why” won’t be answered, it bears repeating he took that answer with him.   The real question of “Why” is, how many ways did he touch our lives, while he was living.  Those of us who knew him were meant to know him,  and there was an exchange, of feelings, knowledge, and love.  It’s what he contributed to life, that should be the main focus, not how his life ended.

SONY DSCThe photograph above, is that of one of the largest hornets, I have ever photographed.  And as big, and some would say “ugly” that it is, there is a positive exchange taking place.  It is pollinating the bloom of a lime tree, and though being stung by one, which by the way is “Painful as Hell”  it is enriching the life of the lime tree, allowing it to produce fruit.  Eventually the lime will grow from the small bloom, into a tangy fruit that will enrich a human beings life.  How do I know that, it’s simple, I know where the tree is, and I use lime juice to add taste to some of the foods I eat.  The comparison for me is clear, if I only focus on the “Suicide,”  I will miss out or overlook, the fruit Charlie left behind, everyone that comes into our lives, is placed there for a reason.  There is always, some type of an exchange, when human beings cross path’s on this wonderful highway of life.

Faith After Painful Suicide:

I must again remind the reader, that this is my nonfiction story, and what works for me, may not work for someone else.  I will confess that my faith, in a power, much greater than myself, has helped me to overcome the Why, in my friends Suicide.  It’s my faith that there is master plan, and I am not in control of that plan, knowing I must because of my  faith accept what has taken place, is part of that plan.  It’s the faith in my creator, my God, that has given me peace, believing that Charlie was meant to be a part of my life.  Why he became of part of my life, only God knows, and it’s my faith that he knows what is best for me, that comforts me in my time of pain, when I remember my friend.  Faith and hope walk hand in hand in my life, it’s the hope of tomorrow, that keeps me looking forward to gifts like these.

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Beautiful handcrafted flowers, from the creator of nature and life its self.  “Suicide Is Painless Makes A Great Theme Song But In Reality Suicide Is Painful As Hell”  is in honor of my friend and fellow Veteran Charlie, who left behind more than these.  Be well.

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