The Selfless Suicide

He was an awesome uncle. And completely unselfish.

I’ve always bought into the notion that suicide is selfish. That’s what society, and random strangers on the street, tell you. After all, how could you inflict that much damage on your friends and famliy just because you didn’t want to hurt anymore? How could you only think of yourself?

But here’s the thing. When you’re hurting that deeply, when the synapses in your mind have been fried by trauma, you’re not yourself. You’re not yourSELF. So how, then, please tell me, is it selfish? To hell with that. My brother didn’t have a selfish bone in his body. He was generous, and kind, and always thought of others.

He had no idea what this would do to us. He actually thought he was a burden. He heard voices. Now, if you knew my brother, you knew how intelligent he was. He was deeply depressed, and anorexic, possibly shizophrenic. He loved us, completely. He was not himself. He was not selfish.

Read more about Eric’s Story.

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10 thoughts on “The Selfless Suicide

  1. After having a brother commit suicide, I must say I was angry with him and viewed him as being very selfish. He left behind devastation. However, I understand your point Cat. Nobody in their right mind would do such a thing.

    • Oh Patti, I’m so sorry for your loss, and your reaction is completely normal. I felt the same way for awhile. Especially given your brother’s circumstances. Your faithful reading and commenting makes me feel such a sense of community, and that none of us are in this alone!

  2. As someone who has been affected by suicide as has attempted suicide (when I was a teen), I see both sides. Selfish just means that you’re thinking of yourself, your sanity, your fears, your pain, your needs. It’s serving yourself instead of serving the needs of others. It’s not necessarily negative. We have to be selfish to live (and even die) the way we choose. I’ve been in the darkest of holes and I’ve seen the aftermath of suicide. I would never wish either on anyone.

    • Thank you for your thoughts Karen. I am so glad you’re still with us, and so sorry that you were in a dark enough place that suicide seemed like the only option. It means so much that others are willing to bring this topic out to the open. ((Hugs)) to you for reaching out!

  3. If you have a family member commit suicide, you know they are NOT themselves. They would NEVER want to hurt those that they love. They have just lost themselves somewhere. It’s heartbreaking for anybody to say any different.

  4. When people say how selfish suicide is, I always reply that nobody can know what it’s like inside the mind of someone who wants to kill themselves unless they’ve been there. In the same way, nobody ever knows what its like to be older or have children until they do. That’s why compassion is so important. Everything is relative.

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