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.