On Suicide, by Clancy Martin

Saipan Dead Civilians

Saipan Dead Civilians (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A friend once said to me, “Suicide leaves behind nothing but miserable people blaming themselves.” My psychiatrist, a wise eighty-seven-year-old woman who has been practicing six days a week for more than forty years, told me, “Think of the example it sets. For your children.” That remains the most compelling argument I’ve heard against suicide: it sets an example — for one’s children, of course, but for others too. It isn’t that we want people to “tough it out.” It isn’t that we think the suicide has acted out of moral weakness. It’s that, when we look at the people we knew who committed suicide, they were often the very people we most appreciated having around. We need more of those people, not fewer. The bad weather of depression can and does change. The argument for awaiting such a change presupposes that life is worth living for its own sake, which I think is the deeper point Camus was trying to make. As far as we know, life is the only game in town.

via [Ars Philosopha] | On Suicide, by Clancy Martin | Harper’s Magazine.

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