Friday, August 15, 2014

So Long Robin

The suicide of Robin Williams seems like a tragic end to a remarkable man's life.

If he had died of cancer, would the shock have been less?  Or in a vehicle accident?  Or of a drug overdose?

Taking his own life by hanging seems like a violent act of self-hate.  He could have just not done it and all would be fine, people might think, if he got help.

But is his hanging death any less self-destructive than those who spend their lives drinking, smoking, eating or drugging themselves to their ends?

Was he not in his right mind?  What if he was, and didn't want to suffer anymore, from whatever it was that caused his brand of suffering?  Would it be ok then, if it was his decision, not one of madness, to end his own life?

Hunter Thompson shot himself.  It was planned.  He had many health afflictions.  A colleague of his wrote this concerning his friends' suicide:

"... He told me 25 years ago that he would feel real trapped if he didn't know that he could commit suicide at any moment. I don't know if that is brave or stupid or what, but it was inevitable. I think that the truth of what rings through all his writing is that he meant what he said. If that is entertainment to you, well, that's OK. If you think that it enlightened you, well, that's even better. If you wonder if he's gone to Heaven or Hell, rest assured he will check out them both, find out which one Richard Milhous Nixon went to — and go there. He could never stand being bored. But there must be Football too — and Peacocks ..."

Thompson hated Nixon, if you wonder what is meant by the Nixon reference.

I live in fear of incapacitation, by age or stroke, or you name it.  And being forced to lay in some bed in a nursing home, for the rest of my days, pooping and peeing myself, and maybe not even knowing anything at all.  This is not being alive.  I wish I could sign something so I would never have to fear that fate, and could be euthanized, if unable to off myself, to spare myself such a horror and spare society the expense, too.

In Belgium, a pair of terminally ill twins opted for euthanasia.  They were deaf and about to go blind and could not stand the thought of not even being able to see one another.  So they were euthanized in adjoining rooms.  It was legal.

Click here to read one story about the twins.

The above story makes the point we call euthanization of suffering animals "humane" but for us humans, it's called a felony, murder, or suicide.  Churches declare suicide immoral, claim only god can take a life, and yet condone, by silence or outright endorsement, all sorts of other atrocities against life like war. Even their war on birth control in third world nations kills and enslaves people.

I like to read books about war but am amazed how cheap life becomes during wars and how quickly and easily people slip into barbaric natures, if the chains of consequence are removed.

So if someone is suffering and they don't want to live, why force them to live?

Because they'll change their minds, some say, things will get better for them.   Because they can be treated for depression.  Really?

I was in the mental system for years.  The treatment I got was being put into a low income hotel room, to live there, in complete poverty, meaninglessness and isolation for the next twenty some years while being forcibly drugged on up to ten psyche drugs daily, held down and injected with them, should I resist, and being brutalized and marginalized.   That's your treatment?  LOL, yes, ridiculous, in capitals!

We are the masters of our fates.  We are the captains of our souls.

It is a terrible tragedy when young people take their lives because of bullying at school or losing a girlfriend or boyfriend.  These are transient situations and impulses and these deaths are horrible and nobody knows how to stop them. I wish someone did know.  Having a support system to hold you up when you're down and out is one thing that helps, people you can talk to that won't judge you or hurt you sure helps too.

We all struggle and suffer.  We all die.   Most deaths are tragic and unexpected.  We all contribute to the light or dark of this world.  Most of us hope to end up at least neutral in contributions on that scale.  Robin Williams contribution to this world during his time in this world was not neutral.  Not  neutral!

Robin Williams' life contributed immeasurably to the light of existence.  I will always remember him as light.

I don't care how his trek ended.  I love the trail his trek through this world left for everybody else.  I see his eyes twinkling now and feel a joke coming on and know I'm going to laugh before he even says something.

Goodbye Robin Williams.  And Thank You.



  1. No arguments from here. I suspect that Robin Williams was tired. So very tired of the on going battle with his health. Adding physical difficulties to the mix just shifted the balance.
    And, like you, I loathe the thought of being incarcerating in a nursing home. Not a life, but an existence. I so hope it never comes to that.

  2. I bet you are right, EC, and then for the add on, the Parkinsons, too much. Amen to by any way possible avoid the horrors of prolonged suffering via nursing home incarceration.

  3. Well said...I think most of us would agree with you on that..

    Catman Roger sounds like a real nice guy to me..wish there were more of his type in this world..

    Ghandi said something along the lines of 'you can judge a society by how it treats it's animals'..
    That's saying alot about society today..focused on that tiny and nite..

  4. Hunter Thompson shot himself in the head with a .357 magnum, and he did it at home. If that's planning, it's damn callous planning to leave such a mess for your family to clean up, not to mention a nasty-ass corpse for them to coming running into the room to find. Like Williams, Thompson did drugs--a lot more of them than I could ever survive--so many that he sweated horribly as his body tried to throw off the poisons. I like his writing, but he sure was a mess. What I don't get is why these fellows didn't choose to overdose. Maybe in Williams case, he simply didn't plan it, so he went from cutting his wrist to hanging himself out of desperation to end his misery.

    You have never struck me as anything short of sane. In fact, you're one of the most clear-headed people I know, so I'm always incredulous when you talk of your treatment by the mental health system. Many years ago, i had a psychologist send me to the ER for what she said was an emergency medication evaluation by a psychiatrist. I was a mess, so like a fool, I believed her until I got there and saw how scared and weird all the nurses were acting, and then it hit me that she was trying to have me committed. When the psychiatrist arrived, I immediately took off my sunglasses, smiled, shook his hand, and sat down for an extremely sane chat. He said he couldn't imagine why I was there, and I said I couldn't either. He said, well, if you ever want to talk, just drop by, and I said, thank you, I will. I walked past the cops on the way out, and never darkened the door of any kind of counselor again.

  5. Hunter Thompson was always a mess. He'd just talked to his ex, moments before he pulled the trigger I read and had relatives in the house.

    I knew an old man who got lung cancer. He shot himself in the shower, wrapping towels around his neck to absorb blood, put a note on the door of his shack that said, "Suicide, call police". Before doing it, he called his niece to say he needed help getting a bat out of his house. He had his elderly dog euthanized before he shot himself.

    I had about nine friends and acquaintances commit suicide while they were in the mental system. I couldn't blame them. It's not a life.

    There was a woman's story in the paper once. She was an up and coming prof at OSU, always the first to do everything for everybody, for her students, colleagues, husband and kids. Uh oh, I think, when reading all that praise. She did too much for everybody else. She was a "yes" woman, a pleaser. She committed suicide in the most self loathing way I could imagine. She was a chemist and went into her lab and drank horrific chemicals that burned her as they went down she stumbled outside as she died.

  6. When I worked in respiratory therapy, I had a patient who drank Drano. He finally died. I don't understand such choices.

  7. Me neither, Snow.