On a Sunday afternoon almost ten months ago today, a 27-year-old woman drove her silver sedan and parked it behind an abandoned building.
She looked around to see if anyone had seen her. Except for a few trees, there were no other signs of life.
Feeling assured, she killed the engine of her sedan, then lowered the driver’s seat.
Now that she knew no one could stop her, she was free to think.
Should I do it? Should I?
Her mind was divided into two halves: one that said yes and the other that said no. They were fighting one another, dueling to see who was strong enough to take over the entire mind.
She looked at her phone. There were 13 missed calls and many more messages. Every member of her family had tried to reach her, but she had ignored them.
Not now, she thought. Not now.
She looked away from the phone and closed her eyes. She was crying. She had been crying for the last one hour.
Like two well-trained runners in a race, the two halves in her mind ran close to one another. In one moment, the half that said yes outpaced the half that said no. In another instant, the half that said no ran slightly ahead.
Then, at an instant, she remembered how painful it would be to bury your own child. She remembered the pain it would cause her siblings and friends.
She imagined the Facebook post that her sister would share in case she went missing for more than a few hours.
She closed her eyes and waited for the next call.
If someone calls, I will answer it. I will. And I will say, I’m sorry.
I guess you know by now, that woman was me. And that day, I fought for my life.
Here’s what I think about suicide:
People who die by suicide didn’t want to.
I know, it sounds like a paradox, but it isn’t.
I don’t know if this is a good comparison. Forgive me if I am making broad assumptions, but I have always felt that people who are inclined to have suicidal thoughts are almost like people who have cancer.
Neither of them can control them without some intervention.
Sadly, when suicides happen, most people jump to the conclusion that somebody has ‘given up’ on themselves.
No, they didn’t. They lost the fight.
What happened was that they lost the fight.
Rather than think that they have given up, I think a more sympathetic way is to believe that they have given it their best fight, and lost.
As you might have noticed by now, often very talented people die by suicide.
These are not people who give up on life easily. These are not ‘weak-minded’ people.
If they were, they would not have put so much effort into producing good work.
These are people that for some reason, have the tendency to kill themselves. And for the same reason, I believe, they also have the tendency to view life in rare depth.
Though suicide may come as a shock to people, I’ve read somewhere that very few people successfully kill themselves on their first attempt.
This means that they have tried to fight for the lives every time. But, I think, with any illness, some will succumb no matter how hard they try.
People who die by suicide were not ‘weak’ people. They are often the strongest. They had done their very best.
And with life, sometimes, even when you do your best, you still fail.
It’s hard waking up to news about one of your favorite leadmen dying by suicide.
It feels surreal to think about it even now.
Like many teenagers in my generation, Linkin Park was my go-to music.
It’s strange but I have felt understood listening to Linkin Park songs.
But here we are at the end of it.
Rest in Peace, Chester. And thanks for all the good years.