MyDearFriend wrote:How old do you have to get before it's okay to commit suicide?
I find it interesting that my response (and I think most everyone else's) cites ages that are not our own. I'm 41 and struggling, but mostly doing okay, and my mood is pretty good right now, so I find suicide for myself — or someone else in my position — unconscionable.
I remember being a teenager and being told how much potential I had and how it's such a waste to kill oneself at that age. It was a terrible amount of pressure: what was this "potential" and how was I to use it? (And now, looking back, I think the term "potential" was imprecise in that I was accelerating learning about the world which I am now burning off; "anything" was not possible as I was bound by my upbringing, attitude, and luck.)
One thing that stings about a young suicide is that it indicates how society, friends, and family so dramatically failed. But we push that away and ask "why?" and say they were selfish. The answer to "why" is all around us, but we block it out (in part because we're not depressed and therefore not able to internalize it in any substantial way.)
I think the same thing is true of someone who is older, but we have a digestible answer to "why": some kind of deep suffering. But again we are unable to hear the more substantial answer to "why", and it's the same thing: a dramatic failure of society, friends, and family.
Reflecting on any suicide, there's usually some things we might have done differently (e.g. listening more), and there are some that we couldn't conceive any alternative (e.g. what can be done if you're unhappy about the nature of working for money?), and there are some that we never would have seen as a problem (e.g. how much was too much turpentine stripping that chair that weakened the liver that eventually failed and caused the suffering?)
I too take strange comfort in knowing that death will happen someday regardless.