Monday 29 May 2017

Suicide a catastrophe

Sir -- I cannot share Desmond Fitzgerald's view (Sunday Independent, December 19, 2010) that ruling out suicide as an option belittles the memory of those who have chosen to end their lives. I believe it is entirely fair and reasonable to deny the validity of such a choice while at the same time cherishing the remembrance of the person whose life has ended so tragically. Because suicide is a tragedy. I know someone who made that decision and I honestly believe that she would not have gone through with it had she reached out for help or if indeed anyone had known or understood the awful depths of despair she must have been wrestling with that pushed her over the edge.

Suicide has rightly been described as a "permanent solution to a temporary problem". I find it very interesting that researchers into near death experiences have found that the overwhelming majority of people who attempt suicide but are resuscitated after being declared "clinically dead" have expressed profound relief that their suicide attempts failed. This does not surprise me in the least. While I keep an open mind on the question of an afterlife, those findings indicate at the very least that, in some instances, people who opt for suicide would, if they could, reverse the decision.

With the greatest respect to the memory of suicide victims and to their loved ones, I suggest that the emphasis must be on prevention. Let's look out for family and friends. The last thing anyone of us affected by suicide wishes to see or to hear about, is the news that yet another human being has fallen victim to this catastrophe.

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