I will miss my dog, my faithful and constant companion who only ever gave me cold wet nose kisses and unconditional love and comfort and never asked or expected anything in return except for belly rubs and playing fetch (and food and walks). I will miss music, and art, and creative energy, and the power of performance: the amazing and beautiful things people are capable of accomplishing when they can put their minds to it. I will miss food — anticipating it, preparing it, enjoying the tastes and delicious smells of it. I will miss films and television, from the artsy farts to the campy to the dark and satirical. I will miss hanging out at some dive bar in New York City, drinking and smoking and shooting the shit with my barfly peeps. I will miss dressing up for Halloween (my favorite holiday). I will miss drag queens. I will miss snarky gay boys. I will miss getting my nerd on with all my geeky friends over the finer points of fantasy and sci-fi. I will miss shaving my head and then growing it out to dye it crazy colors only to shave it all off again. I will miss the sound of ocean waves crashing on the beach. I will miss fishing with my dad as we silently contemplated the nature of existence. I will miss the squeaky crunch of a fresh snowfall. I will miss the sound of rain splattering against the window as I’m curled up in bed all cozy and safe and warm. I will miss the good kind of dreams — the ones that are weird and wacky and wonderfully non-sequitur. I will miss having a good belly laugh. I will miss having a cathartic “ugly cry”. I will miss dancing to disco and 80s and 90s music at the Pyramid Club. I will miss creating thematic iTunes playlists for my friends and family. I will miss the crazies shouting on the urban streets like prophets in a concrete wilderness. I will miss the beautiful, kind and gentle souls (angels?) who give their love, joy, time and attention freely and with no thought of reward or reciprocation. I will miss feeling the warm sun on my face and a cool breeze at my back. I will miss the moon in al its phases drifting across a clear starry sky in the silent night.
I swear I had all the preparations done. Everything was in place. The method, the suicide letters to my family and friend, the timing.
Out of the blue I receive a message from the other side of the world. A 30-minute conversation has thrown my suicidal ideations out of the realm of “must” and into the chaotic reality of “should” and “can”.
I thought I had found my way out of the wilderness into the dark. Suddenly there’s a light. An unavoidable brightness lighting the path of a monster (me) that was blind to all else for too long.
Am I imagining this? Is my mind/body fighting so desperately to preserve itself at the end that I am now suddenly questioning my determined end?
The countdown’s on…4 3 2 1
Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.
It follows that as Death stands at my door — or rather as I stand before Death’s door knocking madly — that Existential Dread creeps into every thought like so much metaphysical graffiti.
These last few dark days the Serenity Prayer has been drifting in and out of my head. I always read those words as an uplifting call to soldier on in Life. Now I see a different meaning: Free Will. Only the Self can truly possess the wisdom to know the difference between the courage to change and the serenity to accept.
So why after a lifetime of playing the fool does my heart feel so bad in choosing the wiser path? Until it comes to me: Of course this is the rub, that Free Will comes with a price and when we have to roll the hard six that choice does not feel serene.
The suicidal are young and old. We come from all walks of life, all races, all genders, all religions or none at all, some wealthy and successful by first-world capitalistic definitions, some in poverty, some physically healthy, others in psychological distress and still others with terminal diseases.
I am certain we possess at least this one single thing in common with religion: The battleground inside and outside of ourselves over right and wrong, good and evil, light and dark — the unbearable anguish of the soul.
Who is anyone to insist that the choice to remove that pain be taken away? As humans we believe in the unalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. If we have the right to our own lives, we have the right to our own deaths. If we are not free — if we feel imprisoned whether it be by a corrupt system of governance or by our own minds and penchant for self sabotage, we have the right to free not only ourselves but those around us who are always having to rescue us by picking up the pieces of our broken existence. If we cannot pursue happiness, it seems cruel for the rest of the world to force us to be miserable by going on living (and by extension cause the ongoing misery of others in our lives).
In this I suppose that I do condone suicide. But with the most severe of caveats that ending your own life — and for that matter the life of any self-aware entity — is not to be taken lightly. If after understanding that your death will cause grief and pain for years to those who love you, you still see it as the only choice left, then let it be finished.
Our way of life is rapidly disintegrating. Forests and farmlands are burning. Waterfront cities and towns are flooding. The polar ice caps are melting. Animals, insects and plants are going extinct in mass die-offs. Our ecosystem — one that stayed in balance for millions of years — is fast collapsing. Yet we meander through our lives, mired in fantasies of power and greed and lust, even as our world is being destroyed. This is a metaphor for my own life; blindly and selfishly stumbling from one debacle to another with no real comprehension of the consequences of my actions until it is too late.
Preparations have been made; everything is set up and waiting. My last sunset will be in 45 minutes. Will it be astonishingly beautiful? Will it be mundane? Will it be obscured by cloud cover? All this ruminating puts my resolve on shaky ground.
But I have already made my choice. It is the hardest choice I’ve ever had to make, given the finality of it all. As I write this my heart is pounding (and breaking!), my stomach is in hagfish knots, my eyes are filled with tears in the rain, and my skin is slick with a cold clammy sweat. My terror is paralyzing.
Yet I shall go. I shall go believing that in Death I will not be the deadbeat burden that I was in Life. I shall go knowing that my final act to put an end to the pain and shame of my existence is sadly only the beginning of a world of bewildering pain and grief for my family and friends. I shall go not knowing whether Death will be Sweet Oblivion or whether it will be some version of the Hell in the Afterlife.
Will Someone or Something have mercy on my soul? Do I even have a soul?
At the moment of catastrophe, at the threshold of certain death, this is when we confess our sins.
I called the BS National Suicide Prevention hotline. What a joke and then some. A waste of breath and time and hope. I’m glad in a way that this forum exists so those of us who are not kidding around with how serious life and death are can speak our minds and leave a little piece of ourselves behind without judgement.
I have been planning my suicide for 9 months. Well, my entire sentient conscientious life anyway. But now it comes to it and I’m terrified. There I said it. I’m so scared of the nothing that awaits me.
But I’m more terrified of all the things I’ll do if I remain alive. Hurting my family. Hurting my friend. Yes…I only have one true friend and she doesn’t have a clue what I’m about to do. My family — both my parents and my one sister — have no idea. Because for NINE WHOLE MONTHS I’ve been bald faced lying to them. That I had a good job and everything was fine.
At 48 years of age, I’ve been fired from every single job I had since 2010. I’m mental. But I also know everyone is mental…how else can one survive?
In less than 48 hours I will cease to exist. And it is here at the end that finally there will be no more lies. No more denial. No more depravity. I will only have the ugly truth of my wasteful existence to tell through my death. Without hope. Without witness. Without reward.