happy to take his own life


Before you jump up and down on me for the title of this post, please read it through.

Last week a dear friend took his own life. I've been struggling with my own very selfish feelings regarding his decision.

Charlie had been my friend for over 20 years. We met in high school, but even then, at 14, he was different. He never seemed to be of this world. He never ever cared what people thought of him. He did exactly what made him happy. We laughed, he held my hand as I cried about one thing or another, we went to the symphony together, lay in the dark and watched the stars, spoke (what felt like endlessly) of bowel movements. He learned Esperanto and tried to teach us all. He explained things so bluntly that you wondered how it was so easy for him. He turned my necklace clasp around and instead of telling me to make a wish, he kissed me just because he wanted to.

During his college years Charlie had a very bad experience with LSD, with a trip lasting for upwards of a few weeks. It changed him. His behavior had all the hallmarks of an activated latent psychosis. He quit school, was homeless, was in and out of mental institutions, and did a short stint in jail when he was convicted of attempted kidnapping.

This is not the person I knew. My brilliant, talented, friend was now living a zero risk life. He would not take any form of transportation as it was considered too much of safety risk. He barely ate enough to keep himself alive, eschewing all forms of animal products. The things you consider parts of everyday life, he considered a risk. His behavior and mode of speech were erratic, his stories were alarming.

Most alarming of all were the constant suicide attempts.

He happily attempted to kill himself 5 times. It is what he wanted more than anything. To leave the meat suit behind and transcend to a higher spiritual plane. He wasn't suicidal because he was sad, there was no trauma in his life that he wished to escape. He wasn't trying to end it all because there was no other way out of some situation. He wanted it. He wanted to go to a place where other people didn't suffer. Where existence was free of peril.

On November 6th he got his wish. He planned carefully, including calculating dosages for maximum effectiveness. The use of anti-emetics so he wouldn't throw up said pills. Use of a laxative so his stomach contents would empty more quickly. And most horrifying, the use of a heavy plastic bag to reduce air supply.

How do I know these things? He posted a suicide not to his blog, complete with pictures. I haven't made it past the pictures.

I probably never will.

I will always miss my friend.

I don't know if I will ever be able to be happy for him. Though, I know it's what he would have wanted.

You never hear of someone who took their own life happily. It is always the tortured soul who sees no other way, who couldn't go on.

Dear friend, I hope you are where you'd hoped to be. I hope you are truly happy and existing without fear. Miss you.


Leslie Hanna said...

This is so sad. I'm sorry for the loss of your friend, even while he was still with us. It hurts to feel so helpless, and just watch them pull away. I do hope he's happier now. {hugs}

Catherine1216 said...

What a shame that he became so changed after LSD. I'm so sorry for your loss.

Anonymous said...

I've been struggling to understand one of my closest friend's suicide even though I've made several attempts myself and understand being "suicidal". My buddy had everything going for him. Great job helping others, surrounded himself with beautiful interesting women, traveled almost the entire world, working 6 months on and traveling 6 months off. It was a charmed life. He is a gem of a man truly. My heart is still broken but I appreciate this perspective. So just want to say from the heart... thank you for sharing. I'm grasping at straws and this one I'll hold on to.