Recently, I was shocked to hear about my family history from a stranger. This person knew details about my extended family that I barely knew. He knew details about my anatomy related to my heritage that freaked me out. I couldn’t believe how much he knew about me and the only information I gave him was my grandmother’s maiden name.
I asked him how he knew so much about my family and this is what he told me. He said, “All Russians learn about the heroes of WWII in our history classes.”
I was stunned. I had never heard anything about my family being war heroes. In fact, my people were on the surrendering side of WWII. Regardless, he told me that his history books referred to the kamikaze pilots of the Japanese military as brave war heroes. My family, Matsui, according to him, had a large part to play in training and practicing kamikaze warfare.
I thought for sure he was trying to pull the wool over my eyes. After all, I couldn’t prove otherwise. In an attempt to validate his claims, he went as far as to tell me that he knew that my second and third toes were webbed. Was he was right? I’ll never tell. Nevertheless, I listened more intently to him afterwards.
Regardless of whether or not what he told me was true, it cause me to think. The point of his conversation was to tell me that he thought it took great courage and strength to commit suicide. Our conversation eventually turned to the question of suicide being noble or not.
Of course, I don’t condone suicide. My goal is to eliminate suicide as the leading cause of death in the youth population of Utah. My heart aches for all those afflicted with the thought that suicide is the only option to end their suffering. I empathize with your pain and I’m here to tell you that it’s not the last resort. I’ve documented my recovery in a book titled, Life After Suicide: The impact of suicide on the ones left behind. It will be available this fall on Amazon.
There is always another choice and it’s a different kind of sacrifice. Unlike the kamikaze pilots who intentionally sacrificed their lives for their cause, you don’t need to end your life. Instead, sacrifice whatever thing is causing you such grief that you think suicide is your only escape.
Speaking now to you who are suffering the grief of a loved-one lost to suicide, you need to sacrifice something as well if you ever hope to move past your sorrow. You must sacrifice your guilt, or your sadness, or whatever thing is keeping you from being happy again. Allow yourself grace to forgive your loved-one and to forgive yourself.
With the opening of what is sure to be a box office chart topper for DC Comics, I want to leave you with this thought. I think it’s important enough to talk about that I’ve dedicated a chapter of my book, Life After Suicide, to this concept. Suicide has become popular in awareness for both prevention and promotion. I have nothing bad to say about the DC Comic, Suicide Squad, but it’s an example of how cavalier we’ve become to the term.
Let me pose a question for you to ponder until you hear from me again, “Has society grown so callous to life and living that death and suicide have found a coveted place at the seat of honor?”
Although it may have taken great courage and strength of soul for a kamikaze pilot to fly his plane directly at the enemy, I believe it takes great courage and strength of soul to live. My kamikaze ancestors are honored today by their comrades, but their sacrifice is lost to me.
If you are someone battling your own enemies in your head, know that you are not alone. I respect and honor your courage to fight and live day after day.
If you are interested in knowing more about how I survived the loss of a loved-one to suicide, please subscribe and send me a message. Not only will I inform all of my subscribers as soon as my book is available on Amazon, but I’ll continue to post content from my book leading up to its launch.
Watch for free stuff as the launch of my book, Life After Suicide: The impact of suicide on the ones left behind, grows closer.
Courage my comrades!