Why is death considered so horrible, and why does suicide cause such angst?

One of my TBM brothers took his own life.  It cause a great deal of pain to my TBM mother, but when she was 80 years old, with a great deal of medical problems and in a terrible amount of pain because of a botched pacemaker lead replacement, she asked for the plug to be pulled.  My TBM father didn’t honor her request.

I’m sure I would have honored her request, but I don’t blame my father in the least.  He was brainwashed to believe it was a sin, and he knew mother better than I did, so it was his call.

If I reach the place where mental and/or physical pain becomes greater than the joy I have in living, I will have no problem checking-out.

When I was a believer, I thought suicide was a sin, of course.  However, in the years since, my views have changed dramatically.  I now think it should be a personal choice, and it should be legal for it to be assisted.  Appropriate precautions should be in place to prevent murder of course, but we shouldn’t have to jump through too many hoops to have help in checking-out of this life with the least pain possible.

I’ve heard the argument that it’s extremely selfish because it hurts loved-ones too much.

My reply is that I’m sure it hurts loved ones, but if we are in a terrible amount of pain, then it’s the loved ones that are selfish to demand that we remain so.  If it appears to others that we have a hope of recovery from pain, then let them argue the point with us, but they should have no right to demand that we remain in pain.

 I like TruthR’s reply to that argument and have her permission to repeat part of it here.  She said:   “My role in life, how I live it or choose to end it is not based on pleasing others, I don't go out of my way to hurt others but I am not responsible for their view or reaction to how I choose to live or end my life.  People make choices everyday that slowly kill themselves."

I also like Tom Wootton’s reply:  “The fact that you can’t handle your emotions does not give you the right to dictate my life! If it did, would you have the right to take my life because I made you angry? It seems that the most selfish act is demanding control of my very life to satisfy your emotional needs.  http://blogs.psychcentral.com/bipolar-advantage/2010/03/suicide-pro...

We spend a great deal of time and money to prevent suffering, so why is it illegal for a doctor to relieve our suffering in this way?  We often put-down animals out of compassion.  Why do we have less compassion for human beings?

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Good to hear from you again Bar.  One thing to keep in mind is that this is not an organized debate forum.  I don't make assignments or choose people to make one argument or another.  People voluntarily share their opinions or they don't.  I can't force anyone to share nor argue something they may personally not believe in.  As for private counselling going behind the scenes, I have never had anyone with suicidal tendencies come to me directly in a private chat or private message so I have no idea what gives you the impression that such private counseling is taking place.  The one time an unnamed user was threatening suicide in the chat room the members here took responsibility and linked them to the national suicide prevention hotlines and also contacted the local authorities for that individual's city.  I don't know how you can expect any more of a response than that.  If anyone were to reply to this thread or forum that they were considering suicide in a threatening way, I'm sure we'd follow that same course of action as a community.

I am not sure what elephant is in the room that is not being discussed.  TruthR is not threatening suicide in any immediate fashion.  She shared her personal approach of deciding every morning to live instead of dying.  Isn't that something we all do at some level or another?  If TruthR was making the same wild suicidal threats as the unnamed previous member had, this conversation would likely be going a very different direction in an effort to help TruthR.  For now though, we are attempting to discuss our individual views of the effects suicide plays in the minds of those struggling with it, and in the lives of those who know them.  I have not yet shared my own personal views on this subject so I don't know why you presume to think they align with those of TruthR, MM or IS.  At some point I likely will layout my own perspectives and approaches to suicide, but for the reasons you suggest, I have kept a neutral stance so as not to unduly influence the opinions of others before they are shared (as if I had such a capacity).  If anyone is concerned that sharing their opinion would get them in trouble with me or my team, it has not been made known to me except from your own post, and I certainly don't detect that you are reserving your opinion merely because it might oppose TruthR, MM or mine, nor have you been approached with any sort of warnings nor will you unless obvious house rule violations were to occur, which so far has never been a problem for you.

As for a site disclaimer, no member of LAM is acting nor pretending to be a licensed counselor in suicide prevention or general psychology and counseling.  If any reader is personally struggling with suicidal tendencies, they are urged to contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or to otherwise seek local professional counseling.

TruthR, I admire your courage in telling your story in the face of harsh criticism.  I think we all have problems in life to face, and yours seem to have been especially difficult.  Hugs I'm glad to hear that your in a much better place now, and from what you've explained, it sounds like you've made of good plan.

I don't have anything close to the answers, but I also think shame, guilt, coercion, and manipulation (as well as legislating morality) are counterproductive.

With respect and heart felt concern for every individual tat contemplates suicide....

 

My theological discipline teaches that people that cause their own death will not reach the best on the other side.  I disagree with this in my heart.  Surely a loving Christ, that went through all he went through voluntarily will understand the act of a person that was ...human... and just wanted the pain to stop.  A loving God will love them, understand their pain and search for ways to silence the pain, and their final act.  He loves us and cares i feel.  I use the Prodigal Son as my focal point in that personal view.

 

 

  IMHO, people do this when they see no way "out" of the pain and difficulties.  It is the final act of a person stopping the pain.  Sadly, it happens a lot in conformist organisations that do not encourage the birthright to be free.

 

Death does not scare me.  it is that passing phase where i am partially alive and partially dead that i hope for no pain.  If i have done my part well on this side, then God will handle his part of the equation.  If there is no God, then I lead a good life that I liked.  UI wake up on the other side, or i never wake up and thats the end of it.  No problem, no pressure and no issues.

 

Micah, you made a good idea presentation.  i wish I could reach out and calm the side that I percieve that questions and hurts.  sadly, all ican do is care and hope that  you discover thebuttons, knobs abd switches that will make all the questions get answered.  But i know, that in a real world, thats just not going to happen.  Just know that you have a lot of people that care for you, that are concerned and either know what you are going thru, or want to be thee to smile at you and shake your hand in midst of the pain :)

 

pacem mentis, mental peace,

 

Hugs bro,

Don

I like your compassion and caring also Don, and agree with most of your thoughts, even though I'm nearly certain there are no gods to factor into the equation.

Ya know Idaho, you may very well be right.  There might be no God just as there is no Zeus, Jupiter or Athena.  All we can do is exercise the ultimate faith and hope there is and do what we believe to be right.

I really am not convinced that suicide is wrong theologically.  People cover their ears in a loud room, we avoid things and attempt to bring calm to fruition in every aspect of our lives, even to suicide as a calming catharsis.

 

  If we can reach out to others with just a genuine smile, a pat on the back, we are doing well.  We may not know it, but we may have just assisted someone in not going over the edge.  As a diabetic i have the needles and medications to commit painless suicide if i were ever to consider it, and i hope i never do.  I would just, ...go to sleep, and my body would stop functioning.  But for those tat do consider that ultimate option,remember others pain at you leaving.  They would feel guilty in not being able to percieve your distress.  They would miss you terribly.

  If someone is considering suicide, or it even looks palatable, please, reach out to another person and just sit down and rest.  You are of value, as you are where you are.

 

  Salt Lake teaches others to conform.  To join, participate and be happy in the "Borg collective" is good.  We are humans and have the right to think, be and express out thoughts as humans.  We, as living breathing entities, as upwardly mobile life forms have the right to be free from oppressive forces tat can emanate from the frum beat and marching of a self serving bastard Church.  They would grind you under without the first thought and blame you for being in their way.  "Behold a Royal Army"  could very well have been sung of the Nazi military by some.  It is beautiful to those that benefit from it, but very painful to the humans that it grinds under.

  I despise the Mormon mind games and the Mormon machine.  It is this oppression that still beats peoples heads and hearts into submission long after the body has left their grinder they call a Church.  All men must do this and that.  All women must do this and that, and all as the person in front of you does as they all goose step to the stupid bastard beating a drum up front....who is not paid but has all of his needs met......ha!  People still feel a twinge of guilt for buying tea o coke, they still feel a bit of uncomfortablity when purchasing beer, ...this is not the spirit that was supposed to have left us when we joyfully left the Borg (Mormon Church) this is guilt and mind games used to oppress people and keep them in the corral following the dumb horse in front of them who is in turn doing the same to the horse in front of them, ...on and on ad infinitum.

 

My life is important, if only to me.  I will think as i choose, I will do as I choose and I will succeed because i choose to.  No one in Salt lake can usurp the power that is mine by forcing their mental image into the equation as a 'blessing".   I am a lucky man.  i was born into the world in housing projects, raised on Food Stamps and sometimes no electricity.  Our department store was the Goodwill, and we got around on the buss or bumming rides.  I never saw anyone in a white shirt and name tag help us.  I did see the state come by and remind us that we were poor and showed us that we were the job security they needed, so we stayed poor and used their perception of who we were to move ahead.  We broke out.  But i still fight the battle of "filling the freezer" when it is not required.  I still look for the deals on soap at Walgreens.  it used to be 5/1.00 and I would buy about fifty of them, no lie hahahaha :).  Now tell me, who da hell needs that much soap???  No one does. We do not have to be chained by the old ropes that used to hold us down.  We are free. We can buy two bars of soap, and not on sale! :)

  Lincoln freed the Slaves in the Emancipation Proclamation, yet some stayed due to what was going on in their head.  Later, they became tenant farmers.  The discription changed, but not the reality of their station.  It needs to change in our heart and mind as well.  We are free!!!   And it is good.  We define what is good and right, not others.

 

  Look at what is causing your discomfort, then knock it the hell out of your life.   Consider it no more.  Make decisions and perceive your value without "them".  resistance is NOT futile and you do not have to add your consciousness to the Borg (Mormon) collective.  You are of value, you are loved and you are good.  Warts and all! :) hahahaha

 

Don   

 

 

(...we are free, and need give no more credibility to the crap they used to shovel on us as a blessing..... that we now shovel on ourselves at times.)

 

ok, I'll stop sharing my views and hope i did not bore others to death :)

I think the lack of compassion goes right back to the medieval Catholic doctrine that human beings have souls, but animals do not. As a western society, we're still very much entrenched in medieval or even puritanical doctrine when it comes to issues like suicide and assisted dying. In this mindset, our lives simply do not belong to us.

Per God and Genesis, man was given dominion (i.e., domination) over animals, so man can do whatever he wants to them and it doesn't matter because animals are said to have no immortal soul(s) created by God. Human beings, on the other hand, have souls belonging to God (which Satan tries to wrest away, yeah?). So everyone's life belongs to God, not to them. Per this doctrine, if someone takes his/her life, they hand their soul over to Satan and go to Hell.

The East is much more compassionate when it comes to death, for they recognize that death is part of life--something the West has never been able to do. We live in a society that thinks it's magnificent to prolong life and "cheat death," but they don't invest nearly as much thinking about the quality of life they're saving. I've heard that those who commit suicide often don't want to die, they only want the pain to stop. The West isn't too great at helping the pain to stop, whether it's physical or mental or emotional pain.

For all that Mormons and other denoms teach about the afterlife, they don't do much to prepare anyone for it. One source I found invaluable for that was a book called "The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying." I got lost in the second half because it's solidly in the realm of Tibetan Buddhism, but the first half helped me see that death is a blessing.

I personally believe that one's life is one's own. We have the legal right to refuse medical attention. If I have cancer and elect not to participate in chemotherapy, if I elect to die...I am allowed to do so. But if I arrive at a hospital unconscious, unable to state my desires, the staff will do everything in their power to keep me alive. If that includes hooking me up to a ventilator, so be it. And if, when I awake, I want it turned off...they won't do it.

Only someone who has been in chronic, unrelenting agony can understand what that feels like--whether it's physical or emotional. So compassion is in short supply in this instance, as it is in most walks of life. Why wouldn't someone want to die to escape the pain if it's that bad?

Our lives are not our own in the West. They are thought to belong to God. So until U.S. society shifts its views on the matter, suicide will be treated by the courts as a crime (the only crime one can commit against one's self, and where one is "punished" for not succeeding in committing the crime), and by Western religion as a sin.

The majority of people live in terror of death. So the majority of people can't understand why, for some (even those in chronic pain), Death would be welcomed with open arms. And the majority rules...and believes their pope, priest, bishop and God. Unfortunately.

I wanted to add one thing...while I understand why someone might want to commit suicide and be entirely committed to doing so, what I cannot understand is why they do it in such a way as to absolutely wreck the life of whoever finds their body.

It would be far kinder to drive out into the woods and commit suicide beneath a tree where the body will be disposed of by nature than to slit one's wrists in a bathtub, asphixiate one's self in a car in the garage, or even to take pills and quietly slip away in the bedroom. I understand that someone wants the pain to end. What they may not consider is the pain they create when an innocent must deal with finding their body and the painful aftermath that follows. Then again, if someone ensures their body is not found, they're merely "Missing," and there's no closure. So...what is the answer in this society?

Due to the nature of the subject, we will probably have good humans that have considered taking the final plunge on their won. The last two paragraphs say so much.

The pain you feel is not gone, but transfered and multiplied out to others that remember you, miss you and are shocked at the sudden loss.  Seek nonreligious council.  Medication is not bad, and can extend your life and give you a happier life.  See the brighter side of issues.  See the half full glass and never the half empty.

 One of my sons as tried to run his car into a bridge abuttment  maybe 10 years ago.  I knew what it was about, but no one else did as they saw it as an accident.  he and i talked for hours, I almost lost one of my four sons, never to be seen or experienced again.  This is my son, not just someone else's kid.  he had talked about this act before as a youth due to not having ample knowledge of options, social levers, running, goals, anything that would work to stop that pain inside.  he worked through it and we talk in private often.  I am a bit scared about what happens when i pass if i pass first.  Who will he talk to????  

See your own value.  You do not have to be perfect in the Mormon view.  Just be yourself, and die of old age or a traffic accidenet or something.  People will iss you and they will have to clean up the mess.  Mormonism is so conformist, and you do not have to conform.  You may have been thinking you are an ugly duckling.  I see a beautiful swan, as you really are!

 

Don 

 

Wednesday, I love your post.  Says what I think much better than I can express it.  You also mentioned some things I'd forgotten and some that I didn't know.  Thanks. 

I've thought like you, that if I did it, out of kindness for others, I would probably go to the boondocks where my body was not likely to be found until it was disposed of by nature.

Hey there everyone..I don't post here alot but I often check in on interesting topics. 

 

I agree with TruthR..at least today.  I have seen both sides of this coin.  My sister committed suicide

in 1996 and yes, our families were devastated and angry.  But has I get older..I feel a tiredness and

sometimes a difficult task to find things to look forward to. 

 

I understand how TruthR feels in this situation.  Taking back a power that you have never known

in life should give you the right to that rest.

 

Hugs,

Vick

Twice I have made the decision to kill myself.  I didn't succeed either time.  Of course my mormon family and friends made me feel guilty because of the pain it would cause them.  But I was in serious mental pain when I made the choice.  I still struggle with guilt about leaving the church and taking my children with me.   But we all have a choice.  It is not a sin.....it is a matter of how much pain an individual can handle.
Cali, I for one am glad you are still here, even though you still have painful days, I'm sure.  I'm bipolar, and have felt suicidal many many times, but the knowledge that one of my children, who suffers the same disorder, would probably be in so much pain that she would follow my lead is enough to keep me from closing the door on this life entirely.  I hope you've been able to talk with a doctor about this, and perhaps take medication for depression.
Thanks for your story Cali.  Hope to talk to you again.  Hugs.

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