When money dictates between choosing life or death, it’s the beginning of a sad ending. Thoughts of money become evil. That’s hell on earth. And when people, especially intelligent people couldn’t help and deal with thoughts of failure, death becomes a real choice. Depression sets in and life becomes unbearable. Dying seems like a sensible relief to the then living.
This is a miserable weekend for me. I found out a childhood friend of mine had died. I was at first surprised and asked if it was a car accident or cancer. Many people in the world die unexpectedly due to these 2 reasons. I got the shock of my life when I was told it’s SUICIDE! AND, that was some 1.5 years ago!!! It just didn’t sink in at first. Of all the people I know, it never occurred to me he’d be the one. He had so much going for him since we were teenagers. I knew him at 11. I even admired him for his intelligent, good looks and sports achievement. Not to mention he’s a friendly and real decent chap! We were in the same school from 11-13 and then again 17-19. We parted ways when I went to university in Canada while he to the U.S. Later, he migrated to the U.S. and had jobs in California in the IT industry. Now, if you had asked me for a success story, his would have been one I’d have quoted before I found out his death. Not that many guys have so much going for him. His eldest daughter just entered one of the top 5 universities in the U.S. while his son is around 15 and by the look of it, just as brilliant. On his facebook account, he looked happy.
Why did it take me so long to find out? Well, I wasn’t active on Facebook in 2007-2011 since it was banned in China and I was living there at that time. We emailed one another occasionally and few years ago he told me to call him when I visit the U.S. but since I haven’t been visiting the last 3 years, we haven’t been in close contact. I was surprised that he didn’t reply to my mail the last 2 Christmas as he usually did. Figuring he was probably busy or out of town, I didn’t take to heart. So the story goes. The last greeting I had for him on Facebook was this March. Unbeknownst to me then, I left a message for him about 2 weeks before he took his own life!
This is not a writeup about our friendship or what truly happened. It is rather a reflection of my own interpretation of the situation. As I only found out last Thursday evening, I’m living the significance of the news currently and when words began to pour into my mind endlessly, it is when I know I’ve to share it with the world. It’s been awhile since I wrote on Lunch.com and unfortunately, it is a sad occasion I’m currently experiencing and writing about. It is however, a real and significant experience that readers of this article ought to be conscious of.
Thoughts of suicide may have hit many people during their lives and some were successful in executing that thought. Why? The Reason is often the question the living ask, be it to someone you know personally or not. Before this, I had the experience of knowing people who had taken their lives. None of them I personally know. It’s either a singer, actor or friend of friend or my cousin’s ex-boyfriend’s twin. Most were horror thoughts but still mere passing thoughts. They were not thoughts that affected my sleep. In this particular case, I was affected. I still sleep but I don’t sleep well. The shock begins to sink in and it’s not a mere telling oneself not to think about it since the other person has passed on. Grief and sadness are real experiences and even if I want to control it, I can't. That’s what makes us all humans. Happiness and sadness are two sides of a coin.
RIP, my friend. My main concern is how his family would have go on living. Despite how dire the situation would have seemed, I still don’t believe one should die because of lack of money or debt matters. That is the work of the devil. Granted, it’s always more complicated than it seems and depression is usually part of the mix. Death doesn’t solve the problem in the whole scheme of things. Even if money problems were solved as a result of it, the living goes on feeling sadness, anger and guilt. He had unknowingly bestowed that onto his wife, parents and children. That is more hurtful than being together bankrupt! At least that’s what I would think. Even if my friend had thought that the insurance policy would keep his family in comfort at his sacrifice, I’m sure it’s not what his family would wish for or choose to have. So, for anyone reading this, even if you don’t entertain the thought of suicide or had never, please remember this very important message and just if one fine day you should decide that life is not worth living anymore, you’re not an island. There are at least 60 others living souls who would have been affected by your decision (according to a report I read quite recently). I do believe we underestimate our own influence on others, me inclusive. To leave a “legacy” or emotional burden as such to your family and those who have loved you is unforgivable. And unknowing to the dead, his/her death has a tendency to increase the likelihood that his circle of friends would harbor such thoughts in the event that he/she encounters hardship, difficulties or depression. That’s also in the research I read. Thus, we are more interconnected than we could have ever imagined and it has nothing to do with technology per se.
Yes, we will move on and some of us will eventually forget. But, we will always carry the burden of that death when it was ended on such a note. My tears will dry eventually but my heart will always go out to my friend’s family, especially his two teenage children. They have lost their father forever and ever and I personally with them will carry the guilt for the rest of the lives! This is a very unfortunate and sad story…
P.S. Most people didn’t support the Occupy Wall Street movement on this site. Even though I did support the idea knowing the inner workings of Wall Street, I was not totally engaged in it. This event changes many things. And, it makes me hate politicians who decide to sit on the sideline and not seeking out those who have destroyed lives and jobs of the innocent people on the streets. No one who had made tens or even hundreds of millions by exposing financial institutions to exorbitant risks, exploiting the financial and banking system globally and still profited from their actions had been held accountable. Meanwhile, the indirect consequences of it is high unemployment (making the streets less safe and possibly robberies that kill innocents), depression (as a result of the feeling of failure and left to die by the society & ultimately suicides) and wars eventually (be it currency wars or real). Those who had profited and exploited the derivative products ought to have been held accountable financially if not put in jail!!! If I were you, I’d boycott all investments that do not deal with physical goods or do not provide jobs! By that I mean all kinds of speculations (currencies, stocks, bonds, funds, indices and swaps). It’s not that these instruments or investments were evil to begin with, it is that those who engage in them are too greedy (to the extent of becoming evil; even if unconscious of it) and no longer have a soul when it comes to money. Global warming doesn’t kill as swiftly and as widespread!!!
In the grand scheme of things, suicide is one of the top 10 leading causes in the U.S. The Safety National Council rates it 6th. Hence, in our lifetime, we are likely to have met many people whom we know who have had harbor the thought of dying by killing himself/herself. I know of another university friend of mine who have had those thoughts due to stress from his (top) job but I’m thankful that he seek help before it’s too late!!!
True, it is a personal choice. Those who took that path should be conscious of its effects on family and circle of friends. We all have problems or even illnesses in life. The choice should be LIVE and NOT die!!! I remembered the movie What Dreams May Come and it depicted hell as in a place where we cannot get out of our miseries even IF we were to die!!! That’s permanent despair and misery without an escape! Horror!!! So, death (esp. to the religious) is not an ending (esp. not of miseries), remember that!
A childhood friend of mine committed suicide in Oct 2010 and I only got to find out recently. Sadness is certain but another emotional response which surprised me is guilt. Guilt for not having been a better friend by keeping in close contact and not even knowing he has had problems financially and physically. May he rest in peace in the holy arms of God! You were much loved & I'll always miss you, my friend!
Over one million people die by suicide every year. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that it is the 13th leading cause of death worldwide and the National Safety Council rates it sixth in the United States. It is a leading cause of death among teenagers and adults under 35. The rate of suicide is far higher in men than in women, with males worldwide three to four times more likely to kill themselves than females. There are an estimated 10 to 20 million non-fatal attempted suicides every year worldwide.