Suicide: Noble or Not?

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!

 

Friday the 13th

I could not let this day escape without comment. I would like to share a story with you all regarding my early days as a morgue clerk. This is a story I haven’t shared with many. In fact, it gives me the chills whenever I think about it. Wrap up in something warm, turn out the lights, and get ready for a freaky, friday the 13th tour down memory lane.

Several years ago I worked evenings at the morgue as a clerk. It was great student job. I studied in complete silence, occasionally checked in a corpse, and slept for most of the shift. I arrived promptly at 1630 hours every afternoon and performed all of my housekeeping duties quickly. This afforded me more time to study while I awaited death to come knocking at my door.

At this time in my life I was newly married and we had a sweet, baby girl. When dinner time rolled around my wife and baby girl would bring dinner to me. They would sometimes spend the hour with me while I ate. It was nice to have company, otherwise I was completely alone in the building – aside from the dozens of corpses asleep down the hall.

One evening in particular is burned deep in my memory. My wife and daughter arrived with dinner just after I had received a corpse. I transferred the body from the mortuary cot to a metal autopsy table and wheeled the table into the crypt to keep cool overnight. It was the same routine I’d followed for several months, so I thought nothing more of it.

I greeted my wife at the door and led her into the room set aside for the morgue clerk to stay overnight. The room had a place to sleep and a place to eat. I sat down to eat the lovely meal that my wife had prepared, but our infant daughter would not allow my wife to sit with me. She fussed violently in my wife’s arms and buried her face in my wife’s chest.

My darling wife said, “I guess she’s not going to let me stay today. Sorry, Babe.”

“That’s alright,” I said. “I have a lot of work to do anyway. I’ll see you in the morning.”

Several days later I was at work and again my wife brought dinner. This visit was entirely different. My wife sat down and ate with me. Our daughter giggled and played peek-a-boo with an imaginary friend over my wife’s shoulder. We thought it was funny, but didn’t think any more of it that night.

The following week was very busy at the morgue with many deaths. I was very busy on my night-shift receiving several deaths – all violent in nature. When my wife came to visit with baby daughter in arms and yummy food to eat we experienced the same reaction from our daughter that we had seen a week prior. She fussed and screamed and clawed her way into my wife’s neck. She literally climbed into the nap of her neck and would not let my wife sit comfortably. Finally, my wife apologized to me for leaving so early and stood up. I escorted them to the door and as soon as they had exited the building my daughter calmed down.

The whole experience intrigued me, so I decided to investigate. I reviewed the case files of the deaths from the prior week and compared them to those of the day. I also reviewed the cases from my previous shift when my daughter was pleasant.

I discovered that on the day my daughter was pleasant and giggly I had received at the morgue several older people who had died naturally and somewhat peacefully. Also, that night, I checked-in a small child who died suddenly and unexpectedly. In contrast, on both nights when my daughter was unpleasant and didn’t want to stay I had received violent homicide deaths and several violent suicide deaths including one prison inmate.

My wife didn’t visit much after I relayed my discovery to her. She would stop by to deliver dinner, but wouldn’t stay long. It wasn’t much later that I took a daytime position at the Medical Examiner’s Office and haven’t worked a night shift since.

Happy Friday the 13th everybody. Please enjoy the following Twilight Zone intro courtesy of .