“Suicide is man’s way of telling God, ‘You can’t fire me – I quit.’”
– Bill Maher
I’ve seen too many dead people. I’m not saying that I’ve seen an unusual amount of death in my family, both biological and emotional. No, what I’m saying is that given the path my life has taken. I’ve worked for a long time in the healthcare industry. As a member of the support staff I’ve seen way too many corpses for my taste. That being said it has given me a unique, at least amongst my circle of friends, perspective on dying and death. So with that in mind, I make the following bald-faced statement.
I will most likely leave this world as a suicide.
Now before you start messaging, emailing, texting, and calling—let me explain. I am fine, well not fine, but I’m normal, well as normal as things can be for me. What I’m saying in my usual ham-fisted way is that I’m not suffering from a severe depressive trough or thoughts of suicide. This is not a cry for help or for an emergency intervention.
On the whole, things are pretty good. My youngest son graduates from high school next week. My oldest daughter is getting hitched next month, and if Alex graduating doesn’t make me feel old, the idea of Beth married makes me feel ancient. We’ll be moving by the end of the summer back into a house with a yard. And to cap it all, I have my dream job and a wife who supports me in my endeavors.
So, why will I end up killing myself in the end? Because when I leave this world and head to what comes next, whether it’s a new plane of consciousness or the long forever sleep, it’ll be on my fucking terms.
For the last, shit it’s been seven years, my day job has been the senior care industry. I work with people in the last arc of their lives. Not only do I work with them, but I work in their homes as they live their day to days lives. I see them when they wake up in the morning, and I see them when they end their days. I see them at their best, clear headed and able to enjoy life despite the disadvantages of advanced age. I see them at their worst, wracked with pain and fear yet too proud to ask for help because they were raised to grit their teeth, enamel or porcelain, and bare it. I see the humiliation in their eyes when incontinence and confusion consume them. I see them cry when their families forget them or have all died, and they still go on, alone.
I WON’T end up like that.
We’ve all heard the saying, “They shoot horses don’t they?”. Hell, I’m pretty sure there’s a movie titled that. Also, many of us have had to make the decision to have a pet put down to spare its suffering. Yet, I’ve watched people who’ve made those very choices decided to make an elderly family member continue well beyond the point where there is any real quality of life.
Not this guy, never in a million years.
When the time comes, and I’ll judge the time appropriate if the pain becomes too much or my memory has deteriorated too far, I’ll go peacefully. I’ll have my family at my side and make an event out of it. One last hurrah before I sleep for the last time.
Doesn’t that sound better than a bed full of shit, a body wracked with agony, and the mind of a five years old?