Suicide is Painless

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Suicide is painless, it brings on many changes... at least according to the song. Obviously, I didn't commit suicide, or that would make this article a lot more interesting. These are just a few stories I tell are about me finding bodies, or seeing it happen. I don't know if I'm just "lucky", but things happen around me.


Mr. Volcano Head

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The first body I ever found was in 10th grade. I was in Water Polo as an "after school sport", which is ironic since I had to show up by 6:30am to work out before school. A girl was frozen staring at some guy, who had decided that a wall at our school was the perfect place to blow his brains out and make wall art. No note (that I saw). She and others were freaked out. I just gave directions until the cops arrived and took over.

Years went by. A few times I saw the body by the side of the road; some fatal car/motorcycle accident, arriving immediately after an event and so on. Most of the time I didn't stop to help; as there were already many on the scene, and the last thing they need is another "helper". I'm not really a looky-loo or rubber necker; there's nothing much to see.

Third Point Systems Jumper

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There I was, minding my own business, when I see a body fall by my window, and make a slightly wet but very loud, "smack" against the street like Gallagher mallet'ing a side of beef. Well that's not something you see/hear every day.

I went down, and talked to the cops, who asked, "did she yell". And to my reply of "nope", they responded, "Good. That means a jumper... if she'd been pushed, she'd have screamed the whole way down". And that ended the investigation into the meeting of the homeless person and the sidewalk.

And so ends the tale of the second suicide I'd "discovered". But wait, there's more.

What is it about my mom?

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On top of discovering two suicides myself (Mr. Volcano Head and Third Point Systems Jumper), I count two more by proxy. My parents were socialites living in the U.K., when one of their neighbors went from their dinner party to his Garage, where he started his car, and killed himself. Then they moved back to the states, and the neighbor girl directly across the street decided to hang herself in the garage. While my Mom's company can be a bit of an acquired taste, that's kind of an extreme reaction, and a bit of an outlier. Sincerely, most people that met her have not felt the need to end it all immediately afterwards.

Conclusions

Some people are fascinated with death; probably because of the taboo it has.

Personally, I think more people should be exposed to cope with the gruesome realities to get over their morbid fascination. Though I'm thankful that other people are doctors, nurses, police, morticians, etc., that deal with it, so that I don't have to. While I prefer not to wallow in ugliness, I think hiding it (too much), makes people less able to cope with the realities of life... and death.

I've also known some other people that self-destructed. Either indirectly; drugs, alcohol, hanging out with the wrong people, doing the wrong things, and so on. Or more directly, as in my neighbor, or the case of a Mac Columnist and friend Rodney O. Lain who took his own life. Rodney wasn't a close friend; but we had exchanged emails, calls, and shared a few meals.

In the cases where I was one of the first on the scene, it was interesting how fast life returns to normal; for some. Granted, I didn't have much vested in either victim; but even the couple people that I did know, weren't that huge an impact either. Some reminiscing, some sorrow, but life goes on. How, or why, doesn't really matter or change anything, it just is.

It's not that I'm callous, I sincerely miss (and remember) folks. But too much wallowing is wasting what precious time you have left, I just try to remember the times we shared, and move on. They'll be remembered, they'll be missed, I often remember and wish they were still around; normal emotions, pity, frustration, anger, hurt - but death is the final chapter in all our lives.

To me a lot of the drama is in the mind of the person who makes the drama (myself included); the person that is dead is dead. (Raging at the dying of the light, is something only the living participate in). The dead are finally at peace. I think that's why we need to vent and rage. It is a narcissistic rant at our own insignificance, and self-pity at the loss of a playmate, companion or partner. We need to express that grief and rage, because we know that life will go on without them, as it will when we pass.

We live, we do things, we die; life goes on (for others). I try to remember that death is a reminder to us all that we are still alive, and to remind us what we stand for, and reflect on how we are going to live in the time we have left; to get on with living our lives, rather than wasting a lot of time focused on dead history or past events. Live in the present and the future, and death is the past. Since it is something you don't have control of anyway, you just have to let it go.

Body count

2003.05.16