He wrote the note on Easter Sunday.
"No more pills, no more pain."
And then he shot his wife of forty-nine years, and then he shot himself.
They were seventy three and seventy, a loving couple beset with health problems, he a bad back and she the beginning stages of Alzheimers disease. They couldn't go on, lingering in the abyss of an uncertain future, waiting for things to get worse, because they knew, and we all know but kid ourselves we don't that at seventy things are not going to get much better.
Life is what happens to people when they are busy making plans for the future, but the future comes quick, and all the planning, and waiting, and hoping for better days disappears and the life we have formed suddenly appears when our days are numbered, and the reaper draws close, and that life may not be as sweet as we had hoped, and the days may be full of boredom, sadness and pain rather than the envisioned laughter, contentment and joy.
What madness possesses people as end of their time on earth draws close? How do some manage to carry on in the face of certain decline, sickness, loss of function and increasing pain? Is it fear and an inability to take action, or is it something more?
Are we afraid to die, or is our grasp on the life we are given so cherished that most of us cling to every second, and bear the pain, disappointment and fear that builds to a deafening crescendo as our lives careen down the hill toward the valley and the inevitable crash, or are the few who take action and bring an abrupt end to the suffering the ones who are afraid; has the life they have forged been such a disappointment that ending it is preferable to carrying on?
Are we certain of an afterlife? Will those who quicken their wait be deprived of it, if it exists at all? If we are 100% certain that a blissful existence awaits us, why not pull the trigger, and get on with it? Roll the dice, see what happens, because what happens has got to be better than this, it just has to. Even nothingness is better than this.
But, what if nothingness would be heaven compared to the afterlife for somebody who ended their present one, no matter the conditions that precipitated their demise?
Have we been sentenced to do time in an uncertain existence, bearing pain and suffering while others float through their lives with nary a blemish?
What madness is this?
I hate it when people kill themselves. I hate it even more when they take somebody with them, no matter the reason. It shakes my foundation, and I do not like a shaky foundation. Without a strong foundation, belief system, and productive achievement throughput our lives and an unrelenting nurturing of relationships there won't be much to live for when the going gets rough, as it most certainly will.