I found this quote by Margaurete Duras appealing and up for interpretation. She says life is immortal while “it” is still alive. Everyone of us feels invincible in a sense until a moment comes of tragedy or ill diagnosis. The illustration and words were thought provoking, I hope someone enjoys it as I did.
The topic I have decided to discuss for my final blog is suicide. As we have learned in this class, America is a death denying culture. However, I think that out of all occurrences of death and dying suicide is the least comfortable to discuss. I believe this for a few reasons. Firstly, nobody likes to think that somebody would take their own life before their time. It is heavily influenced by depression and sadness which causes those closest to the person to feel a sense of responsibility for the death. Family members will struggle with the concepts that they did not do enough to help while others will feel angry that they were never asked for help. I would go as far to say that the grief and coping that comes with a suicidal type death is the most damaging to the human psyche. Most significantly, I believe that suicide deaths are so hard to discuss because there has been a point in every single person’s life that they briefly considered the “easy way out”. Now, whether or not they will admit to this or not deep down we all know it is true. Therefore, when someone close commits suicide, it brings to the surface everyone’s darkest points of their past. This is why we try so hard to dismiss and push back any kind of feelings for a suicidal related death.
Depression has run rampant through America these past few decades especially in college campuses. Some studies theorized that due to the rising increase in social Medias and texting people no longer know how to be alone with their thoughts. I walk around campus here and it is difficult to find someone without head phones in their ears or a phone in their hand. When people are shut off from these mediums they feel like they are alone. If we cannot find a way to lower the rising depression levels, I believe we will see a sudden jump in the number of suicidal deaths in this country.
Reads the Greyjoy family slogan in the “Song of Fire and Ice” series by George R.R. Martin. This very slogan could be deciphered and broken down metaphorically in a positive manner for our death-denying society.
“What is dead may never die.” How can this one line be dissected? What does it interpret? We die only once, a known fact; at least for the real world we exist in. Humans, have no knowledge of an afterlife, or what happens or proceeds in one. So once a person passes away; our society should take in consideration that one death it was and always shall be – that the loved one who has passed away will never go through this certain distress ever again, and neither would we once we die.
This very slogan can be taken in another manner: even with a person’s passing – the memories we have of that particular someone, the legacy and the actions the person left behind will never cease to exist till we cease to exist – but then our actions and memories don’t cease to exist till the people we have shared these somethings cease to exist. This is an endless cycle, till all humans cease existing, and disappear into oblivion.
Literature has always been a get-away from reality for me; and it’s surprising how a few writers can change the way you think about life. I recently read Slaughter-house Five by Kurt Vonnegut, and if the ideology of ” what is dead may never die” had to be supported by proper definitions; Kurt has them.
“All moments: past, present and future; always have existed, always will exist.” If the theory of relativity was ever exercised into reality, and successful time-machines were to be made; a person would be able to travel to any moment that will exist the way it has existed, it’s always preordained. “When a person dies, he only appears to die. He is still very much alive in the past.” Travelling back to any moment in the past, you’d still see the person who has died very much breathing and laughing and doing things the way they did as in the moments of the past. This dead person, has never died, will have never died in the past moments.
A person’s dying should be as much of a celebration as much as the person’s birth. A turning point had been surpassed at either instances; the memories will always be there; the essence of the person will always be there. As Rumi quotes: “If you look too closely at the form, you miss the essence.” The feelings, the emotions, the moments a dead person has made with countless others will always exist; the person’s significance and soul will always remain even though the form, the body has depleted away.
Last week there was an article in the New Yorker about a lady who experienced a live birth in Mongolia after being pregnant for only nineteen weeks. The baby did not live. Later she was given a clinical reason called a “placental abruption” for the early delivery and was assured she did nothing to cause this early delivery.
The young woman describes her response as being “so sad she could barely breathe” and her marriage failed within a few weeks. She still feels what she describes as a very “dark hurt” and at certain times she suddenly starts crying; although most of the time she seems “sort of okay.” I wondered how a mother or father could ever overcome such an intense, sad feeling.
According to Dr. Kenneth Doka, there are different styles of grieving. Intuitive style is for the most part more responsive, open and emotional. The instrumental style person will articulate their feelings in a more masculine style as they cognitively and physically work through the grief. However, neither style is gender specific. Men or women can grieve either way depending on the individual.
Many years ago, my friend miscarried only two months or so into her pregnancy. The doctor assured her that she was no longer pregnant, but he did little in welcoming her feelings during this initial phase of grief. The problem was she felt as though she lost a baby and it was not simply a faulty “pregnancy.” Times have changed and now, especially when the fetus is older at the time of loss, the parents get to see and even name the baby. A funeral helps parents and family acknowledge that a life was lost. However, in this case, my friend never had this closure. Yet, both women have the same symbolic hopes for the child and both women feel the intense hurt in the loss.
Another factor in the process is feeling guilty. My friend blamed herself -because she was cleaning with strong chemicals the week before she miscarried. The woman in the story was assured that she was not at fault for the loss but my friend was not. This is a heavy burden to carry especially if there is no proof she was at fault. Sometimes these things are an act of nature.
Grieving is important for everyone involved -both parents and the family. There are different styles of grieving, however, mourning the loss may be necessary to overcome the deep sadness. Carrying unwarranted guilt can extend the grieving process. Time is probably the best asset for healthy grieving. Even over time, some may never get over the loss and marriages sometime part over such things.
I don’t understand life and sometimes I don’t ever think that I will. For the things that I have experienced, good and bad, it’s not a matter of “why me?” instead it’s a matter of “why now?” These past few months have not been the best. Between being tight on money, stressing way too much over the workload I have with classes, family problems that not many would understand, not being able to work enough to have money, and finally to top it all of I got into a car accident on Halloween. The car accident pushed me over the edge. All of these normal stressful situations I cannot deal with naturally. I have chronic depression; it runs in my family and is impossible to ignore. Some people would listen to what I have to say, the crazy thoughts running through my mind and actually understand while others criticize the heck out of me. Suicide isn’t something to judge a person on. When you do that you’re making it worse. People with metal disorders who are having suicidal thoughts just want to be heard and understood; so why don’t we listen to them? In the movie It’s Kind of a Funny Story the main character Craig is a clinically depressed teenager who not only wants to be heard but to have someone actually understand and truly listen. He checks himself into an adult psychiatric ward because he wants to kill himself. Craig’s suicide is a referred suicide because he’s confused about himself, how to deal with life like most people deal with easily; he’s overwhelmed and doesn’t know what to do. Negative life events such as the stress build-up Craig experiences from his dad pressuring him to finish an application for summer school and having clinical depression are two of many things that made Craig want to commit suicide.
The reason I chose to blog about suicide is because of the people I have met that believed it was their only way out and I thought it was my only way out three times. Now I take things one day at a time, one homework assignment at a time, and set my priorities straight; mindfulness. Another reason I blogged about suicide is because I like studying psychology, mental health in why people do what they do. Overall, when I finish my schooling here at USF I want to help people with mental disorders and steer them away from the path of suicide.
“Suicide does not end the chances of life getting worse. Suicide eliminates the possibility of it ever getting better.”
In the article “Taking Responsibility for Death” by Susan Jacoby, we discuss the issue of family members having to make difficult decisions for their dying family members. We have learned that the United States is one of the highest death denying cultures in the world. It is because of this death denying way that causes so many problems with the decisions that must be made at the end of a family member’s life. This would not be an issue if we had a set plan for how we would like to be handled if the worst should come to us. Polls show that most Americans would prefer to be left to die if a hundred percent recovery was not possible. However, strangely most family members never discuss such a topic with one another leaving them with a very difficult decision. This also puts a lot of stress on the family dealing with a death.
This is why I believe everyone should have to have a written document of their preferred method of treatment so that both doctors and family could know how to move forward with a patient who could not make a decision for themselves. This document should be done through the health care provider and made available when needed. During the period of time at the end of a life, emotions can cause someone to make a rash or illogical decision out of grief or ignorance. However, I feel like we can plan out everything, yet it is impossible to know how or if some ones decisions will change when they are actually facing a life or death situation. That is why this is such a debated argument. This is why if a plan could be made with the healthcare provider the family should listen to the provider yet have the power to overrule the provider’s decision.