Friday, February 11, 2011

Darkness



Angelo Reyes, a retired high ranking general caught in the center of a corruption scandal, committed suicide by shooting himself in the heart in front of the grave of the love of his life: his mother. I never liked the guy as a public figure but what he did tugs at my heartstrings in a truly elemental way. The Philippine Daily Inquirer put it quite beautifully: "The crisis in which Reyes found himself was truly turbulent, and the Loyola Memorial Park (where his mother was buried) in Marikina City had turned out to be the still center, his personal zone of peace, in a storm of surprising ferocity. Many of us were shocked when we heard of his death, and the shock deepened when we learned that it was in that central stillness where Reyes had drawn the strength, not to persevere, but to kill himself."

It instantly reminded me of a high school classmate who killed himself a few years ago. I went to the funeral with a handful of friends. It was a closed casket. We were told that the reason was because he shot himself in the head.

His Friendster page "About Me" section contained only two paragraphs: first, about how lucky he was that he had found the love of his life, and second, about how he wanted to die surrounded by family and friends. And in my head I imagined him, alone and in front of a computer. When asked to describe himself, incapable of doing so in notions less than love and death. I believe he had the heart of a poet, tragic and beautiful at the same time.

I would like to say that I believe that suicide is never the answer. But I find it difficult to judge the people who choose this path. My head is unable to comprehend the depths of despair one must feel to inflict this kind of pain on one's self and on the people one loves. Why choose oblivion?

I would like to end this post with an answer, but I really couldn't. All I've got are more questions.


Photo taken here.

22 comments:

  1. my uncle hung himself in his garage about 20 years ago, and I too sometimes wonder how bad it would have to be in your head to choose that path.

    amberlashell.com

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  2. I too cannot understand the path that some take to end their life this way.

    How deep, how dark and how bleak is the hole they find their self in for this to be the only possible option.

    Truly, it baffles me, but I cannot pass judgement; I am a mere mortal and as such I can only feel sadness for those left behind to wonder and grieve. And I hope that whatever lies beyond is a happier place for the one that has opted out.

    Excellent post,
    Jenny

    PS - speaking of Followers, feel free to drop by and follow me. I'd love to have you on board!

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  3. 'I would like to end this post with an answer, but I really couldn't. All I've got are more questions.' I did get close to ending it all once (I posted on it last week) and it was a dark place I can't imagine going to again. I thought your post was very good.

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  4. Beautifully written. And this is a tough subject to write or even talk about. I had a friend commit suicide a few months ago and I also can't say I agree with it, but he was so very desperately unhappy. I'll never know how he felt, but I do know that we have all gone to that dark place at least at one point in life. This is what makes us so blatantly human. Thank you for opening up this discussion, it needs to be talked about.

    Stop by sometime: http://blankmusings.blogspot.com

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  5. I don't understand why people choose suicide, but I don't live in their head. It's so sad for people to think that is their only option

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  6. I think the people who took their own lives thought of suicide as an escape rather than a solution.

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  7. At the PERSONAL level, his death is difficult to fully comprehend because a person is truly an ocean of mysteries. Sometimes I surprise myself at the things I think and do. I can imagine other people, with their own contexts, struggles and complexities, to be just as surprising---almost too alien to know. At the SOCIAL/POLITICAL level, his decision to kill himself was a way out. It only leaves the whole country holding a basket of rottenness and more festering questions. With all due respect to the general, he wasted a rare opportunity to make a change for the better. Our institutions are so corrupted, they need men and women of strong moral fortitude. Oh well.---12th Curator

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  8. My life has been effected by suicide and I couldn't understand why anyone would do something like that. Now I just feel sad that someone feels that much pain and darkness.

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  9. What I'm going to say is bound to be controversial, but I support euthanasia for anyone whose quality of life has deteriorated to the point that they live in constant pain (incurable cancer) or are complete vegetables. However, suicide outside of these conditions is terrible and I hope that anyone that is in this position seeks counseling and help. It is not an answer but a terrible tragedy.

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  10. It's not hard enough to just lose someone, it's even harder when you have to hear they took themselves from their loved ones. It's hard. My uncle came to his demise with a self inficted gun shot to the chest. I miss him dearly and feel so very sorry for his wife and children. It's unfair. But you can't help but feel sorry for the deceased that they thought things were THAT BAD! Awesome post!

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  11. Suicide is selfish. The person is thinking only of themselves, and not the family and friends left behind. That said, if a person is in a bad enough place to take their life, they are not thinking logically and may very well feel that everyone is better off without them. It's just tragic all around.

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  12. Tragic. My own mother committed suicide. I have learned to live with that, but I will never get over it.

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  13. I have fbeen here - wanting to end it all (http://normaltoeatpb.blogspot.com/2011/02/big-bad-wolf.html) Luckily for me, someone intervened. . .

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  14. I cannot even imagine how awful a place their heads and hearts were. Touching writing. All the best.

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  15. "I would like to end this post with an answer, but I really couldn't. All I've got are more questions."

    I know this feeling well. I've lost two friends to suicide and some days I hate them for that choice, others days I fail to understand, once or twice I've sympathised. I never stop missing them.

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  16. one of my cousin hanged himself many years, i can't remember when but all i know is he killed himself because of family problems,

    may God forgive those who puts their life in their own hands....

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  17. I too had a friend commit suicide, first year of college. Sarah was such a bubbly, free spirited girl, but had many demons she was facing, and drug problems. It was heartbreaking to be at her funeral, knowing that she had felt that desperate, and sad.

    Caedmons Call has a song called "Center Aisle" that really summed up how most of us feel when we've had someone we know commit suicide.

    You can read the lyrics here:

    http://www.lyricsbox.com/caedmons-call-lyrics-center-aisle-jkdzxnb.html

    He also talks about it before he performs the song.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GPppLK0Cn7o

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  18. I remember when two girls in my high school committed suicide together(it turned out that they were also lovers). I couldn't wrap my head around the idea that if you had someone who loved you so much and you loved them, where suicide fits into it all. I don't think I'll ever understand suicidal people, but I'm taking that as a good thing.

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