August 27, 2014

Robin Williams and My Father: They Ended Up In The Same Sad Place


Using a belt and some structural part of a door, both Robin Williams and my father died from asphyxia by hanging.  My father died by suicide in 1983. Robin Williams died by suicide in 2014.  Thirty one years between their selfish acts and not much has changed in terms of technique.  And I guess that is the point.  It's not about advances in technique.  It's about lack of advances in mental health.

Robin Williams was rich and famous; my father was destitute poor and known only to the riff raff crowd and police in his home city.  Suicide knows no boundaries. It is selfish with the rich and the poor, the fair-skinned and dark skinned, the younger and the older.  I don't mean that in a judgmental way. It's just fact.  Me me me is the only thing a suicidal person can think about. It's like them hitting their thumb while hammering away at something. The only thing they can think about is the throbbing pain.  They just cannot think beyond it.

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They aren't purposely selfish.  They just can't be any other way.  It's like asking a knife to be a fork. It's just not going to happen, unless our mental health system improves suicide prevention.

Edited 8/28/14 - Lest this sounded short-sighted, when I mentioned our mental health system, I was thinking more holistically, i.e., It includes the psychological world, the spiritual and religious worlds, nutrition and staying fit, and widespread education. They all affect mental health.

Also - I failed to mention hope. We can always pray and hope for the salvation of the souls who have taken their lives, those contemplating it, those who will contemplate it, and their families.

To follow my book, Unraveling My Father's Suicide, click here.


image - http://images.clipartof.com/thumbnails/438651-Royalty-Free-RF-Clip-Art-Illustration-Of-A-Cartoon-Black-And-White-Outline-Design-Of-A-Man-Holding-His-Throbbing-Thumb-After-Hitting-It-With-A-Hammer.jpg

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