“I’ve been thinking about suicide…”

The words hung in the air after they’d left my mouth. My tired mind raced as it tried to understand why Tasha’s face had dropped, but in it’s shattered self it wasn’t quick enough.

“If I have to get another tattoo here,” she said, indicating her left wrist, “that says Dangermouse, I won’t be very happy!” Her tone was serious.

Tasha’s right wrist bears the word “Fitch”, which was one of her best friends who died a few years ago. The “Dangermouse” reference is down to my insistence that I be renamed as Dangermouse in her phone. I forget the details why, but it was based on her being in my phone as “Badger”, which was an old nickname for her that I’d instilled on her when we’d first met, and the fact that there wasn’t too many other names I could think of that began with Dan.

“I didn’t mean I’ve been thinking about killing myself!” I was shocked that she’d think this even though the original sentence had been so badly worded. “I mean, I’ve been thinking about the subject of suicide.”

The conversation moved on to something else fairly quickly. It seems that not many people are comfortable talking about their own mortality, or the mortality of those close to them, which I can understand.

It was true though. I was feeling down last week and happened to be thinking about suicide, primarily “I don’t understand how anyone can contemplate suicide - even those who are severely depressed.” And then it hit me. People who are depressed generally think that the world is a better place without them. I know that I’ve often thought - in times of depression - that my existence doesn’t really matter to many people. But it never ever occurred to me that there would be people out there that get so low that they honestly believe that it’s worth ending their life as the shock, awe and hurt that their suicide would cause in the people that loved the would be outweighed by them no longer being around, and that as a result they would cause less problems for their loved ones in the long run.

It’s a shocking thing to think about, but as I sat there and reflected on it, it made sense. I felt like I had stumbled across something philosophical as I went over it in my mind.

I still believe that suicide is a cowards way out of things, which must be hard to read if you’ve ever known anyone that’s committed suicide. I can’t ever imagine ever being so low that I would to kill myself. Death doesn’t hold any fear for me (the one upside of a Catholic upbringing is that I believe when I die that I go to a better place, not that that’s a good weigh-off for the Catholic guilt ingrained in me!), the only thing I fear about death is leaving behind my friends and family.

Hopefully I will live on to a ripe old age, and God willing so will those around me that I love. Death in inevitable, so what’s the point of bringing it about sooner than you need to?

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