Suicide is an act of bravery
The word “suicide” comes from Latin origins sui and caedere which mean the self and the action of killing (suicidium). There are few common prejudices toward suicide: most people have the same opinion about the reason that makes one commit suicide: despair. We also tend to think it can come from mental disorders such as schizophrenia, an illness mainly defined by the difficulty to distinguish reality and unreal facts. We also tend to see suicide as a result of a psychologically weak state of mind. But in this post I will explain how suicide is an act of bravery.
Even if this act against oneself may have repercussions and symptoms on the deceased’s family and friends, a person might be extremely determined and must have a lot of bravery to commit suicide.
Let’s take few examples:
Committing suicide can be related to passion and art. For example, Kurt Cobain officially killed himself because he had accomplished his passion entirely. He has managed to live it. People who kill themselves prefer dying on a good memory of their lives. Once they have touched the nirvana (without any play of word), they get a full self esteem and completely reached their goal. Kurt Cobain killed himself because his passion started to be destructive. He left fame and too much success because he was only looking for music and how music can be an outlet. He preferred leaving his life while his memories were the best. He wrote: “I thought I would let the world know how much I love people. I thought I would try to create something that I would personally like to listen to because a very large portion of this world’s arts sucks beyond description “in his diary that has been published in “Heavier Than Heaven: A Biography Of Kurt Cobain (1rst edition by Charles R. Cross)“. His first and final goal was to accomplish the dream of people listen to his music. He fully lived his passion and had nothing to complain about. He chose to end his days. The number of suicides that are related to passion is consequent. Artists such as Ernest Hemingway or Kurt Cobain are numerous but there are other reasons for people to commit suicide.
The second example I will talk about is the kamikazes. Even if the reason of their suicide is debatable and can be qualified as a crime against humanity, those men were brave enough to die for their convictions. In his article of the newspaper “Daily Mail”, the journalist Max Hastings describes all details about the attack of Japanese Kamikazes on the American fleet. Many suicidal actions were accomplished to reach the same goal. To win the war and destroy the American army, the article reports some testimonies. The Rear-Admiral Masafumi Arima was one of the commander of the “Air Naval Flotilla” and testifies that “He was about to make a personal contribution to the art of war – by crashing his plane into an American aircraft carrier.” Max Hastings writes that “determination and pride show in the faces of young Japanese pilots trained as kamikaze flyers”. Those young men were determined by their bravery which was stronger than their fear of death. It was more than a conviction but a brave gift to their homeland. Thanks to them, Japanese were seen as a united homeland and extremely welded people. The self-sacrifice represents the death of the body but the psyche and the “mood for the moment” can be representative of an elevated mind. It reveals an extreme courage, that could be qualified as the biggest ambition those pilots have ever had. This sentence supports this idea: “Suicide attack, exploiting the pilots’ astonishing willingness for self-sacrifice, offered a prospect of redressing the balance of forces. Here was a concept which struck a chord in the Japanese psyche and caught the mood of the moment.” Kamikazes didn’t look for any reward and honour. They only had enough bravery to face their fate, accept that they would have no future, no family or successful career, any dreams to come true.
Another aspect of the topic is that suicide allows some people to release their mind, like in the book The Virgin Suicides. In his book, Jeffrey Eugenides tells the story of five sisters. When the younger sister, Cecilia Lisbon, killed herself, everything became strange, morbid and dark in the Lisbon’s house. The four sisters resting, even if they were beautiful and smart girls, decided to commit suicide as well. This is an act of solidarity. They preferred to be with their sister instead of having a “normal” life in which Cecilia would not belong to.
¥ Ryan Frenrey: Suicide is bravery
“ Imagine standing at the edge
No more reasons of anything in life to pledge
Looking down as the wind bleeds your eyes dry
When you fall you have seconds to say goodbye to the sky
Adrenaline causes the mind an instant rush
Anticipating freedom until you become crushed
Now a coward alive would say this man was weak
Yet this man in life couldn’t imagine thinking deep
Instead of jumping for problems, you take a jump for power
I’ll live more in 10 seconds than you do in a million hours
So as you’re standing at the edge giving life your last salute
Remember your brave, realize most wouldn’t jump even with a parachute
Most would run as they saw death screaming 1000 feet down
A brave man would dig is own corpse into the ground
So as you read about another suicide statistic being
He did it because of strength, something you’re not seeing
When life screeches to an end and you want to be saved
This ‘coward’ was brave, this soul was brave “
There are several different reasons that push people to commit suicide and each situation is unique and not always explainable. Suicide, depending on the point of view and the situation, may be the most appropriate issue. Mental diseases, strong conviction, sacrifice, release of mind or body are all acts of bravery. But, depending on the different cultures, it can be considered as a crime. For the Muslim culture, it is viewed as a sacrifice for Allah, which is heroic and nearly natural. Nevertheless, in the Christian culture suicide is an offence to God because God made the most beautiful gift which is life. To conclude, it will be highlighted that opinions on suicide depend on religion, culture and customs. But it is always related to Love, that it might be love for passion, love for family and friends, love for country or, the strongest love that exists, the love between a man and a woman. Pamela Courson, Jim Morrison’s love of his life, who died to find back her love, will best illustrate this statement.
In another context, it is important to talk about euthanasia which is a very controversial issue. It is a way to release body because of physical suffering but also because of a fatigue of fighting mentally for an illness that overcomes them. But before engaging conversation on euthanasia, please share your opinion about this post!