March 13th, 2008

Thoughts On Death And Suicide

I built myself a hill of pillows and slept on the slope. I didn't suffer from reflux but I had a hell of a stiff neck this morning. 

Anything is better than nearly dying on the bathroom floor.

Did I nearly die? No of course I didn't. But I don't suppose really dying could have been any more painful or distressing.

Our next door neighbour died on her bathroom floor. I wonder if it was quick. I look out our bathroom window and see her bathroom window- it's the house where Sameena now lives in blissful ignorance- and remember her.

In the midst of life we are in death. It could happen any time. 

I've been thinking about the Manchester police chief who was found dead under Snowdon a few days back. It seems it was  hypothermia that killed him. But it was a chosen death; he left letters. The emerging story seems to be that his private life was under investigation by a Sunday newspaper (presumably the News of the World);and he couldn't bear to see his bright and shiny image publicly besmirched. That bright and shiny image was, I suppose, the thing he loved most in the world. How odd.  He was brave about tackling villains but a coward when it came to this. I'm the other way round. I don't have the guts to do a policeman's job but you can besmirch my bright and shiny image all you like- and I can say that with confidence because I've had the experience- and even enjoyed it. 

No-one is brave all the way through. It's like Macbeth; he's a fearless soldier but  afraid of ghosts.

They say hypothermia is a nice way to go. After a while you stop feeling cold and just drift away. You wonder why more people don't try it. Is taking a hike up into the mountains really so much more difficult than taking a load of pills or jumping off a bridge? Actually, I suppose it is. It's a long process. With pills or the high-jump there's no going back, but when you expose yourself on a hill-side you've got hours in which to change your mind. It takes resolution, will-power, stoicism. 

I wouldn't commit suicide myself. I think suicide is like kicking over the Scrabbleboard because you're losing. It's not a grown-up thing to do.