Here We Go Again

A Pasadena woman apparently set fire to her home, and then shot herself in the head. Her home had been foreclosed upon, and the day of her eviction was also the day of her death.  So that makes at least three people who have killed or attempted to kill themselves because of financial woes. There was the 90 year old woman who survived. There was the murder suicide tragedy in Southern California where the man killed his family and then himself. And now we have this woman from Pasadena.

It is not known for sure that the Pasadena woman killed herself because of the impending eviction, but I do not think it requires a large leap in logic to see the connection. This is an awful thing to happen. I did not know this woman, but that doesn’t matter. Someone knew her. She was loved by some and disliked by others, as we all are. She was a human in a rough spot. She chose to end her pain with her own hand. I’m sure this angered her friends and relatives, and they will probably remain angry for a long time. They should be angry, but maybe not at the woman.

They should be angry at the country, and the world that made this option of suicide preferable and valid in the woman’s mind. We cannot blame the government for her death (and I am not suggesting that we do) but we can be angry at the fact that they failed in their promise to protect us. A democracy is a two way street, to be sure, and we the people have to hold our leaders accountable, just as our leaders need to start putting our needs before their own.

Sure, some people see suicide as the coward’s way out. It’s the easy way, to just end your life and leave this world. There’s no courage to it, just laziness and unwillingness to fight the many battles life throws at us. I dispute the claim that suicide is the easy way, or the coward’s way. To me, there doesn’t seem to be anything easy about suicide.

First, you have to make the decision to do such a thing. Then you have to come up with a plan. After all, you can’t just will yourself dead, you have to take some other action to gain the deceased status. These include shooting yourself, sitting in a closed garage with the car running, hanging yourself, jumping off of a tall bridge or building, slashing your own wrists or throat, jumping in front of a train or bus, drowning yourself. All of these are ways to committ suicide, but none of them seem particularly easy to me. I know I would have a problem putting a gun to my head and pulling the trigger. That is something that takes courage, and while I am courageous I do not know if I would have that much strength and fortitude to pull the trigger and end this existence. I’d probably piss myself instead and then have to change my pants and underwear as I came up with a different plan for ending my life.

Suicide is an answer, though I do not think it is the easy one, or even the right one. I am not judging, though, as it is not my place to judge. I am in shock, however, at the absurdity of it all, and the pain and shame I feel at a world that drives people to take their own lives. Something needs to be done. We need to make it clear to ALL people that there is help for them. We need crisis counselers. We need this bailout plan to work–and it would work if they gave that money to the people directly rather than to the people indirectly via banks which will start lending again, said lending will lead debt increase, and then we will be back to where we are now. Only, we won’t have 700 billion dollars to give to the financial sector again, and then we will be in real trouble.

I hope I don’t have to read any more stories about people killing themselves because of economic pressure. It is a silly naive hope, I know, but that’s okay. I’ve never found hope to be all that well informed or serious, anyway.

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