If you're going to commit suicide, make it look like an accident.
There comes a time in some of our lives -- not all, thank goodness -- when we think we can't go on living the life we've been given or have fashioned for ourselves. We decide to kill ourselves.
It's a terrible thing but happens all the time, every day, often to people we know and were friends with or even were married to or who bore us and loved us. Or, worst, who we bore.
Most often, I suspect, it's older folks who are suffering from multiple ills and just want to end it all and get on with whatever the next phase of life is. (Wishful thinking, meaning religion.) Or it may be to get out of great pain -- from cancer or whatever -- that we know will never let up.
But too often it's younger people who have just run out of love and other resources and find themselves in trouble and/or in debt and see no way out. That's the saddest, of course, since things may turn out better tomorrow or the next day or next year.
The decision is ours. Yours. Mine. And I don't argue with it.
But do think about those you leave behind.
Probably nothing is sadder than a family having to deal with a loved member who shot himself to death. Hemingway did it -- with a shotgun -- and so did that Nirvana guy. An explosion in the head, and all that mess to deal with. Who's supposed to mop up your brains from the bathroom floor? Your mother? Your sister? The hired help?
Do they deserve this?
Yes, you're done, out of it, relieved of any more pain. Good for you. But what about them?
In short, suicide -- the intentional ending of your own life -- is not just about you.
Do you have children? What will they think? That it's okay to kill yourself when things are too hard to deal with?
If you don't have kids, you most certainly have someone who cares about you. How will your suicide impact that person? It may be the biggest shock he/she ever encounters. Do you really have to do that to them? Ruin their day that way?
My advice to anyone thinking of committing suicide is to make it look like an accident. That way, your wife/husband/children/friends can pretend that you didn't do it intentionally. They need to think that, so grant them the gift of doubt, okay? And they need a story to tell to prying people. It's the least you can do for them.
How can you make it look like an accident?
That's tricky. Run your car into a highway abutment or the rear end of a big truck, I guess. You'll be killed on impact. If you're a dare-devil, drive off a steep cliff. If you can't swim, fall out of a canoe or trip into a fast-moving river. If you're cowardly, take too many pain-killing pills. It's hard to disguise a suicide as anything else, but it can be done. And if you're hell-bent on killing yourself, it's your moral duty to come up with that perfect cover.
Above all, don't shoot yourself. Also, don't hang yourself. A rope around your neck is a dead giveaway that you meant to do it -- and what an awful visual image to leave behind! And don't go crazy and get the cops to kill you (suicide by cop). In other words, don't kill yourself in a way that makes it plain that you did it to yourself. Period.
To re-cap: Should you decide to end your life, your last gracious act to your family and friends ought to be to make your suicide look like an accident. It's not easy to do, but if you've put some thought into how to do it, you should put a little more thought into how to make it easier for your family to accept and explain and maybe -- just maybe -- come to terms with later.
If you pull it off -- a suicide that looks like an accident -- I suspect your efforts will grant you some leeway in the afterlife (if there is one). It will, at the least, speak well of you in this one.
A last word of advice: Wait until tomorrow. There's no hurry.