Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Thoughts on Suicide

We don't know the details yet of Cho Seung-Hui. There has been mention that he had been treated for depression. But we don't know his story. Not that any story could justify his horrendous acts of murder. But that's not the point of this post.

I've mentioned before that I had a brother who, at 23, committed suicide. As for the reason, we'll never know. He left no note, he told no one.

What is not a mystery is that he had suffered from some sort of sickness of the mind for some time. Even our hindsight isn't 20/20. This was back in the 70's, and diagnoses were not so seemingly easily made as they are now. Perhaps it was some form of bipolar disorder. Definitely some depression: my brother seemed to have been born without the filter most of us have that allows us to exist in the world. All of the ills of life seemed to hurt him personally.

Remember some years ago, when a mentally disturbed person walked into the capitol building and shot at some guards, killing at least one? It was at that time that my mother and I talked about my brother and agreed that there WERE worse things than suicide.

Part of me will always wonder what my brother would be like today, what could he have accomplished in his life, if he hadn't ended it.

But days like today, I am also reminded ... yes. It could have been worse.


Nancy said...

I'm so very sorry about your brother. There just seems to be no way to know what the people who do these things were thinking or understand what they went through. I myself battled serious clinical depression in my early 20s...and it was horrible.

ben said...

My brother killed himself in the early eighties also at 23. He left no note, no one knew he was as disturbed as he was.

In hindsight, there were signals. But those are only in hindsight.

Cho Seung-Hui's life will be placed under a microscope and people will ask why? In end effect, the question can't be answered.

Just like you and I both will never be able to answer what it would be like to have had that brother today and see his wife and kids and still have him part of our lives. *sigh*

It could be worse. But bad is relative.

kinsi said...

thanks for sharing this post, and that deeply personal post.

uuMomma said...

Thanks for posting on this.

And, just wanted to let you know I've nominated you for a Thinking Blog, for posts such as this.