Suicide and the Right to Life and Death

The topic of suicide has recently been on my mind due to the death of a coworker by suicide.

Miguel Raymond Gonzales

I didn’t know him very well but I did see him at work every day. Last thing I remember was when we were talking about being unable to breath because of the mask requirement and he said something about it being harder for him because he had Scoliosis. He could also have been in physical pain and maybe this could have been part of what drove him to end his life. I don’t know for a fact, I can only guess because I was not there with him.

But suicide is one of the hardest of all topics to talk about, so most simply don’t ever bring it up. This is because when someone commits suicide, friends and family often wonder what the cause was, wonder if there is anything they could have done to prevent it, and then they blame themselves sometimes, and in many cases, others kill themselves due to the depression of the death of a loved one.

Others react in a much worse way. They criticize the person who died and call them selfish or a coward. Some religious people say they went to hell because they committed the unforgivable sin of suicide. All this does is make the family/friends of the deceased person more depressed and angry. There are also religious and philosophical problems with the idea of suicide somehow being worse than homicide. It makes no logical sense, but it’s also not kind to tell people that the person they love and miss is being punished (by a “loving god”) by burning in hell because they killed themselves. Even if it was true, that is not the thing people need to hear.

We all have questions when someone we know kills themselves, but one thing that I know for a fact is that when someone is physically suffering greatly, sometimes death is the only way out. Sometimes in fact when someone is already suffering from a painful disease that is going to kill them in a short time, it seems like it is better to get it over with than to endure the pain.

But there is a second reason for suicide that many people over look. Sometimes a person feels like the world would be better off without them. They don’t want to be a burden on their friends and family who care about them and have the idea that if they die then everyone will get along with their life just fine. In most cases this is not true, but in the mind of a suicidal person this makes sense at the time. I know this because I felt this way from the ages 16 through 25. I was unable to work a job because nobody would hire me and I thought my mom would be financially better off if I died and she didn’t need to feed me.

I know all too well what it’s like to feel like life will never get better and that you are doing everyone a favor by dying. But what I don’t know is how to talk someone out of suicide.

For example, I have a certain anonymous friend who recently said this in an email:

“Now I have friends telling me not to become an alcoholic, but honestly I’m not seeing why I shouldn’t now.
This world sucks and death would be a mercy compared to more years of hell.”

“I don’t know if I want to remain here. Because as I said before our world sucks. It’s already extremely rotten that people keep finding flawed and extremely selfish excuses for why they won’t become vegan, i.e “I like the taste of meat”.”

The thing that bothers me most about suicide is that when someone talks about wanting to die or has plans to end their life, I am unable to give one single reason why they should not kill themselves. That’s because yes, this would is rotten, and we are all going to die eventually anyway.

I do believe that everyone should have the right to Life as long as they want, and Death when they no longer want to remain here. And nobody has the right to kill someone without their consent nor to force them to live and continue suffering.

But the thing that keeps me going personally is unfinished business. The idea that if I die, there is something I will no longer be able to go back and do. I want to believe that there is a reason I am here(besides my parents having sex). I don’t see evidence of it right now but I hope I am ready when the time comes.

If you are thinking about suicide, I ask you to consider what the world may be missing if you are no longer in it.

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