that one of my favorite writers, Kevin Williamson, penned an article on euthanasia/suicide on this of all days, the anniversary of my brother Mark’s suicide 26 year ago. His quote from David Foster Wallace especially struck home:
The novelist David Foster Wallace, by any standard a wildly successful man who nonetheless took his own life before finishing out his 40s, understood the urge to end one’s own life, and that it is not, contrary to what we so often are told, the coward’s way out:
The so-called “psychotically depressed” person who tries to kill herself doesn’t do so out of quote “hopelessness” or any abstract conviction that life’s assets and debits do not square. And surely not because death seems suddenly appealing. The person in whom Its invisible agony reaches a certain unendurable level will kill herself the same way a trapped person will eventually jump from the window of a burning high-rise. Make no mistake about people who leap from burning windows. Their terror of falling from a great height is still just as great as it would be for you or me standing speculatively at the same window just checking out the view; i.e. the fear of falling remains a constant. The variable here is the other terror, the fire’s flames: when the flames get close enough, falling to death becomes the slightly less terrible of two terrors. It’s not desiring the fall; it’s terror of the flames. And yet nobody down on the sidewalk, looking up and yelling “Don’t!” and “Hang on!,” can understand the jump. Not really. You’d have to have personally been trapped and felt flames to really understand a terror way beyond falling.
Mark, wherever you are, I pray that you are at peace, and that we may meet again one day “Beyond the Sunset”, just over that hilltop.