One of the battles that rages on suicide is the question of “self inflicted murder”. I’m not going to go into the whole history and doctrine of capital sin and eternal punishment. I want to get inside the pain element just for a moment – the “why” that we are all so burdened by. Let’s start with an extreme case: On September 11, 2001 terrorists flew planes into the world trade towers. As the towers were engulfed in flames, people were trapped in the upper floors with no way out. Here was their choice – stay in their office and burn to death or jump and have a fall to a sudden, and I assume, painless death. As horrific a thought it is to jump from 100 stories up I cannot imagine standing idol while flames are eating at my flesh. Personally, I would have jumped in a heart beat and would not have felt any quilt for choosing to end my life. In my opinion those people were clearly victims of murder by the terrorists.
I talk with individuals who contemplate suicide. Life for others is similar to 9/11 – it is a perfect day with the sun shining and perfect temperatures. Inside the mind of these individuals however is a person trapped on the 100th floor with a fire licking at their flesh. They are in pain and fear and they are facing a slow and horrible death. Do they choose to stand and suffer or do they leap to a quick and painless death? It’s not that they wish to die – they just want the pain to stop and they don’t see another way out.
Those of us enjoying the beautiful day cannot understand the fire that is raging. We cannot understand the pain or the fear. We cannot understand standing on the 100th floor dangling out the window and taking that frightful fall. What is so awful in that person’s life that they want it to end? Is it really a beautiful day or is it a day filled with true evil that causes healthy young vibrant people to end it all?
Approximately 85 people a day end their lives in America. 85 people who are engulfed in flames who choose a quick death. 85 people who cannot enjoy a bright sunny day and the countless number of family and friends who will now suffer for the loss they endure. Unlike the people trapped in the world trade tower, we have the ability to stop the pain in these lives.