Tuesday, March 11, 2008

some dark contemplation

Sometimes it seems like death whispers inside of me. It's been a strange week. The death of a friend far away, and the death of a friend's family member quite near. A suicide in the next town over, and a kitty struggling for its life in the vet's office. I was talking with a co-worker today about the suicide. How the idea tugs at us. Not as though to pull me under, because I have experienced that. But rather as an option for life that is no longer worth living. She struggles with aging. I struggle with living. Of course, who decides the standards for these decisions? And my argument was that it is such a selfish act. Leaving so many people in the dark about what they might have said, done or offered. They invested, they believed in a life threaded to their own. And in some cases, they will never stop paying the price of your selfishness. They will never live without the question of how they may have stopped it from happening.

I remember being in grade school when our janitor committed suicide. And I had so little of an idea of what might have caused it. I understood, and I comprehended sadness. But, I had no idea what it would take to get there. I am more well-versed at this stage in my life. Living teaches you what dying could prohibit. I would never call myself suicidal, and I doubt that my friend would either. But, I would never wipe it from my list of alternatives. Simply because I have not yet reached that point of self-worth. That stage where one realizes they are meant to be here unmistakeably. Does everyone get there? The janitor did not. This man, one town away, did not. He shot his dogs as well, so that no one had to take care of them in his absence. He took total responsibility for his death, sending out notes to law enforcement to come and find his body.

If we became that methodical about living, I wonder if suicide would be replaced by levitation? Could we join up with an ethereal bliss by being structured about getting there? Or are we doomed by the fact that no matter what, we will die? Is knowing the outcome what keeps it inevitably on our list of life alternatives? Those who have come close and missed, say that they held onto life more after seeing the light. Is it the ending that we don't have faith in? So, we seek it early to punish ourselves for doubt? I'm just not sure today. I'm really just not sure.

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