Warning: this essay is going to be more personal than usual.
So while this story is pretty good, it’s only almost there. It’s not quite there. And by this I mean Hannah’s experience wasn’t entirely reasonable, from my view. And it’s certainly not the only sort of experience someone dealing with suicidal thoughts can go through.
Sometimes, people dealing with things don’t feel the need to reach out. Sure, Hannah didn’t exactly reach out to many people, but she certainly didn’t hide the signs. The anonymous note in that class about considering suicide. The changing of her appearance. Talking to a teacher, and finally, the tapes themselves. Sometimes people don’t actually want to talk at all, and sometimes they don’t need help. Sometimes they have their mind up- like Hannah did- and they aren’t looking for someone to stop them. They’ve stopped looking for reasons to live. They’ve seen enough to know that nothing will change their mind. And that’s the end of that.
Can you still try to help or stop them? (notice the or.) Yes. Perhaps. But at the end of the day- like we saw with Hannah- it is the person’s decision. If they don’t want to be helped…
The part about how to actually commit the act is real enough. Most people would be too scared to go through a violent method- guns, hanging, knives, razors, etc. Pills are becoming all the rage. Next it’ll be doctor-assisted suicide. The fact of the matter is, someone can want to kill his- or herself but still be too scared to do it a certain way. Pills are easy. The lazy suicidal can’t get enough of them.
Also, some people wouldn’t want a sort of ceremony, like the tapes- private ceremony though it is. It’s a legacy, a remembrance. It’s an afterthought to life. Some people would prefer to quietly slip away. Some people try not to think about how everyone would react once they’re gone. They don’t let the thought of grieving mothers and fathers and classmates deter them. Sometimes, it’s just so easy to not think of things.
There are many sides to every story, and many types of suicidal people.
Is suicide really a negative thing? It’s easy for most people to say, people who have never really considered it. It’s like murder. It’s the taking of a life. Who would want to waste such a precious thing?
Ha! For people like Hannah, it is not so precious after all. It is vile, it is a white elephant- something to be got rid of. She was perfectly justified in her choice. In her death. People should always have choices, right? Pro-choice! Pro suicide! Wait, that’s not the message we’re trying to send, is it?
No no no, death is for cowards, death is for weaklings. Death is the easy way out instead of facing problems. Death is giving up.
There are many conflicting opinions on whether suicide is an act of cowards or brave people. I tell you this: it is both. A coward may be too lazy to live and face the struggles that life brings. But call that same person a coward when they bring the gun to their head and pull the trigger. It is both the most cowardly and most brave act one can commit.
Then there is that other type of suicidal: the passive suicidal. The one who wants to die, but is too scared to actually go through with the act. These people cannot imagine bringing a gun to their head or dealing with the pain of cutting, but if some easy/painless form of death came along, they would jump at the chance. These are the people that consider murder just so they could get lethal injection (in certain states). These are the people constantly wishing for an off button- a switch to flip to end existence. These people are perhaps the most miserable- being done with life but too scared to end it. It’s horrible, going through life day after day wanting nothing more than to end it all but knowing they could never bring themselves to do it. For these people, suicide is the bravest thing that could be done. These people are the cowardly cowards.
Before I mentioned that suicidals can be lazy- that is their prime reason for wanting death. This is because the nothingness of nonexistence is preferable to going through the struggles of life. People can be too lazy to live. Who wants to struggle through high school, college, careers, love lives, raising children, etc. when you could just like, do nothing instead? When you could just not exist, or watch comfortably from the afterlife?
But these people are missing the happy moments. They are letting the fears get to them and they are not seeing all the things they’ll miss- all the reasons to live. This is why upon finishing this book, I decided not to make a list of reasons for suicide- but reasons for life. Reasons to live. Things that would be missed. If everyone had a list like this and could remember these things when they were feeling down, it might change everything. It might have saved Hannah. It might save you.
End note: I have suffered from depression, so a lot of this is the stuff that just generally rolls around my head.