| 2.4°C Dublin

'Suicide' article deeply troubling

Kevin Myers' article dealing with suicide was troubling in both tone and content (Irish Independent, February 11).

He fails to comprehend that it is precisely the depth of someone's anguish that compels them to seek escape from suffering in suicide rather than a longing for death.

Equally, it is the depth of this despair that prevents a person from imagining the hurt caused by their passing.

The taboo around suicide remains. In the days when a suicide victim could not be laid in consecrated ground, that taboo of the certainty of damnation must have been a source of unimaginable grief to the bereaved.

This medieval attitude has thankfully been discarded by a church that might well be broken and abject, but which is certainly more humble and more human than once it was.

It is in this spirit, surely one of humility and empathy, that the priest, in concert with family and friends, endeavours to imbue the funeral with something of the personality of the departed.

To suggest otherwise is shameful. To describe an adolescent wracked with grief as indulging in "self-indulgent teenage emoting" betrays a mind beset with self-righteousness.

The references to "melodramatic liturgy and colourful obsequies" exhibit a sort of puritanical disgust with the rawness of grief: the grief of the most bewildered of the bereaved -- those least in need of judgment.

The judgments they pass, in the way of things, upon themselves, are pain enough.

It is hard to imagine what could be more insulting, unless it is the reference to the "impressionable, the weak and the briefly despairing". Despair is never brief for those familiar with it.

If I might humbly suggest that in future Mr Myers content himself with his fearless battle against the dark forces of feminism, liberalism, political correctness, socialism, atheism and Islamic barbarism, which threaten to engulf us all, and leave the grieving to their grief and the dead to themselves.

Michael Scully
Athlone, Co Westmeath

Irish Independent