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Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Suicide Aftermath: The World After You Died

It’s over. This is the end. You haven’t eaten a meal in 24 hours. You would like to enjoy a last meal but full stomach slows the dying process.

You’ve decided how you’re going to die. Maybe a neat cut to the wrist with the kitchen knife, parallel to the blood veins, then sit in the cool bathroom and turn on the faucet so that all the running water can help speed the bleeding.

Painful as hell at first but maybe later it’ll probably feel like falling asleep. Hey, let’s do some irony and play Linkin Park’s Bleed it Out while you’re at it.

Or maybe you got hanging on your might. Let it all be over real quick. Isn’t hanging the way how executed prisoners’ die? Heh. You’re a prisoner all right. A prison you can’t get out unless it’s ethereally.

Let’s just get thing over with it.

It may take a few minutes to a few hours to die, but you died.

You died.

But it’s not the end yet.

Oh, don’t you know? If you have sought help, maybe if you checked online for the after-effects of suicide, maybe you would have thought twice about blowing a bloody hole to your head.

Everything’s always about you isn’t it? Well, let’s not argue on that anymore.

Because you’re dead.

Now we have to clean up your mess. Did you know that you’re leaving a big dead body behind? And it’s not going to move by itself, you’re already gone. Let’s see who is probably going to find you first.

Hm-mmm, your f***ing family perhaps? Your b***hing roommates? They’re probably wondering why you’re missing for so long. There are so many things still left unfinished. Bills and rent needs to be paid. And the car can’t start. Again. Oh and your boss at work called. He said that you’re fired for that ‘sloppy mess of a project’ or whatever else you screwed.

Then there’s your girlfriend, your landlord, your doctor, your lawyer, your university fees and all kinds of miscellany.

As a matter of fact, all the real life you’ve tried to fix, tried to avoid, tried to wade shit-deep in are all looking for you.

But nothing matters anymore anyway. You’re dead after all.
And they all will soon find out.

Oh hey, it’s your little brother, banging on the door. He probably wants to borrow money from you again. Or maybe he finally won something big and wants to celebrate with you. You’ll never know maybe.

But he found you. What do you think he felt first, looking at your lifeless body?

Shocked, yes. Then, he probably laughed. It’s a big joke, isn’t it? He patted your shoulder. He brushed your neck. He slapped your cheek a couple of time. He’s starting to get confused. C’mon that’s really over doing. Just stop holding your breath and wake up. Time to wake up, big brother.

But you don’t wake up.

You couldn’t wake up.

But that was your idea, wasn’t it? Have you ever wondered if you might still feel something after your death. Maybe like in the movies, you get an out of body experience. Will you see the discoverer of your dead body call the emergency number? Oh, there’ll definitely be panic and confusion. More people joined in. They want to do something, anything, to help you.

Haha, now they want to help. Too bad they didn’t try to help you when you were still alive. When you were suffering. But you’re not suffering anymore.

Aren’t you?

The paramedics have arrived. They’re professional. They see dead and dying people all the time. Maybe they can do better what the ones before them couldn’t. Your heart had stopped beating. Your lungs had stopped breathing. Slowly, whatever that’s still functioning in your still healthy body is dying with your soul.

The paramedics have arrived. Guess what they’ll be doing is trying to revive you too, more professionally. Can you still make it? Can you still come back? No, you’re death. But they’re not giving up. Because that’s their job, saving lives. Even if the person doesn’t want to be saved.

Maybe you have a small chance. Hey, you woke up! Well, not literally. The paramedics managed to wake you up a bit. Your heart starts beating. It’s a big irony isn’t it? The spirit is unwilling but the body is strong. Or maybe the devil hadn’t taken your soul yet and you had some second thoughts. Would that be enough to rescue you?

It gave the paramedics hope though. Now they got to get you to the hospital. Fast. Now. Ten minutes ago. Through the whole ambulance trip, the paramedics keep trying to wake you up. In the hospital, the doctors took over your lifeless body. They’re all trying to help you.

You must really enjoy the attention you’re having now. They’re probing and poking at you with needles, tubes and things. Gosh, what a great time you’re having.

But you were pronounced brain-dead.

Now it feels real, doesn’t it?

Oh wait, you con’t feel anything anymore.

But your family could. And they did. All kinds of negative feelings. Look, they’re just outside the emergency room. It’s your mother holding your father’s hand in a death grip. Why are they crying? They usually avoid you and so why are they here?

And your older sister is there too, throwing mean and dirty looks at your little brother. Maybe she’s blaming your little brother for your pain. Oh so now she cares. Where was she when you needed her?

To your family, the doctors explained. Your family exclaimed.

All of a sudden, there’s an empty void in their lives where you used to be.

Sure you did some bad things, worse things and a few better things. Your family hated you. But they loved you first. You were an extension of the family tree. You were a fruit your parents bore. You were the balance between your siblings amongst the branches.

Did you ever think of that?

Bet you should have thought about that. Maybe you did. Maybe you did know that deep down inside they do love you and they would be devastated when you killed yourself. Making the ones who love you suffer guilt for your death, the manner of your untimely death.


Was that your idea? Wouldn’t it have been better if the only ones who truly felt bad about your actions were the ones you really wanted to hurt? Like your boss or your landlord or your girlfriend. Now that you’re gone, your boss would have nobody else to blame or steal ideas from. Your landlord would have nobody else to sleaze money from. And your girlfriend would be all alone.

Or maybe they wouldn’t care. Your boss never liked you anyway. Now he’s burning inscense and muttering scriptures to ward against whatever bad luck your suicide might cause against his business. Your landlord don’t care you you either. Now he can finally get someone with more money. The new tenants don’t have to know about that ‘bad room’.

As for your girlfriend... well, she’s alive. You’re dead. She’s going to have to move on without you. No matter how fond were her memories of you, they aren’t going to help her in anything except reminicing. She still has a future. They all do. The earth turns, the sunrises and all that’s left of you are just memories.

Memories of a sucide victim.

You’re better off being forgotten. And this is how the whole world forgets you. And the world will forget you.

All it takes is time.

Starting with the ones who love you. The stuff that had depressed you and forced you to shut your own eyes permanently had already begun to haunt your family. Oh no, you’re your bills or your personal artefacts. Not the phone numbers in the ledger or the project report in the computer.

It’s your sucide. Your ghost is slowly eroding the lives of everyone around you. Did you know that you’ve left a legacy of despair? Too bad you’re not around to witness it.

Your sister is blaming your brother. She was pissed at you for making all this guilt and misery on her, making a mess of your life and a havoc of your death. All she wants was a perfect, normal life where people died of old age, no matter how bad life turns. No matter how bad life turns, everybody still choose life.

But you didn’t.

Since she can’t be angry with you, she’s blaming your brother. She wants someone to blame. It’s her way of telling herself that she’s got nothing to do with your problems.

Your brother is confused. He feels guilty too and it’s eating him alive. He kept playing questions in his head, the ‘whys’ and ‘what-ifs’. Should have talked to you more, should have read the signs. If you could see him, you would see how weak and meek he looked, sitting there on the floor. He’s just taking in all your sister’s abuse. Taking it, taking it, taking it.

He’s starting to look like when you were at your worst.

What a happy memory you left behind.

What about your parent? The two who knows you since you were very small. You mother was the woman who gave birth to you. Did you want to hurt her? Make her think that all those years of raising you was a waste of time and money?

Would you be surprised to know that instead, she’s trying to think of happier thoughts of you?

She’s a mother. Like all mothers, they have hopes and dreams of their children. Every hug, every sport’s bruises, every exam’s marked answer sheet. She had been happy to have you as her son.

She did. There should be more happy days. Your mother is trying to tell herself that it was all just a bad dream. That you’re still alive and living miserably, but alive. She’s old and tired. She should be sleeping. But she stayed awake, waiting for that phone call you always make on weekends, even if it was just to ask for money.

And how’s Dad? He’s trying to organize your funeral. The extended families had to be notified. Your coffin, your obituary, the religious community. Then there’s the death certificate. Oh and not to mention the police report. Suicides have to be filed in for the police records.

That’s a whole lot of people who will soon know that you’ve killed yourself. It’s an entire circus of grief and shame. Imagine how he would beat away from some overly curious questions. Yes, my son killed himself. Yes, he’s young. No, he wasn’t married, please stop asking.

Looks like the last memories of you in this world are all about your suicide. Your life and your suicide. Your problems and your suicide. Your pain and your suicide.

Is that how you wanted to be remembered? The world may soon forget you, but when they remember to think of you, it will be all about your suicide. And the effects leading to it.

To the end of your short life.

Bad relationship?
Lawsuits maybe?
Health issues?
Mental problems?
Inheritence troubles?
Familial history?

All sorts of speculations. Then they stir their nescafe susu, chew on their roti canai and talk of other things.

So you’re gone. The ones who love you hurt the most. The ones who didn’t care about you goes on to forget you. And being gone, there’s nothing left in the world about you. The longest legacy you’ll ever leave behind is nothing more than a statistic on the National Suicide Registry.

And that’s the end of you.

So before you separate yourself from God and the rest of the world, think very carefully of what kind of legacy you’re leaving behind.

It’s far more than a heavy dead body.

Survivors of Suicide: Healing after a loved one’s suicide.
What Happens to Suicide Cases After Death?
Grief After Suicide
Contemplating Suicide?

18 Minds bloomed here too...:

3POINT8 said...

wow...this is a very good article on the case of suicide aftermath.
very thorough.
Good work!

YozoraNiteSky said...

a very long post but such a well written piece, worth every min spent reading it. suicide is such a short word and the act itself could have taken only a matter of minutes... but the repercussions and the ripples after that is far reaching and could be felt for a long time. I will definitely read this post again...great work quickening

Vincent Tan said...

A nice one. Very well written.

willchua said...

wow...bulu roma also naik. Ha ha..

Quickening said...

@3.8: Thanks. I was so afraid that it might look like some TV drama but I didn't want to write some census report either. Suicide is a very personal decision so I hoped writing in first-person might connect a more serious emotional outlook.

@Yorz: Yes, I do, unfortunately, tend to write quite long posts. Hope most would get used to reading my stuff so.

Those who were sad and tired of life, on the brink of even contemplating of doing the act, usually don't think of the consequences. They were scared enough as it is, too unhappy to think of anyone else.

We should always remember never to push anyone away, always keep in touch. It only takes 2 or 3 more things going wrong for them...

@vincent tan: Thank you for commenting and I do thank you for taking time to read it.

Quickening said...

@willchua: That's the master plan. Think how I feel while writing it, tangan macam kena peluh...

Ting titlei said...

wow.. just wow.. i havent been reading blogs for months and i saw your blog on mybloglog. youve just ignited my fire again =) thats a really good post. reminds me of the movie claled "wristcutter" maybe u shud check it out too

kyels said...

Very interesting and well written.


Quickening said...

@ting titlei: Woah, what am I? A writing source? Hehehe, I'm glad that me doing the blog-hop was able to help you. Don't quit writing your thoughts as they'll always outlive you.

@kyels: Hey! Thanks to you, I've learn to write really deep thoughts nowadays. Good luck on your schoolwork and don't let it stop you from blogging.

ColourfulWorld said...

Your post is so real. My mind spins with every single word that I have come across. The impact is there, long lasting.

"It’s far more than a heavy dead body."

Raising Mercury said...

hmmm... the way you wrote it almost seemed like you were blaming everything on the guy that did kill himself..

it almost seemed like a direct attack on him, like he was stupid. Okay, point taken, it is silly, it is wrong and yes its plain stupid to take away your own life when other people want to live and survive..

but some part of me thinks that its not as blatant as you say it is (fictional or not). Suicide is wrong but it has its causes, mental illnesses that doesnt allow one to think properly, or make logic of things or even worse, magnify their emotions by a tenfold. Imagine living your life, having emotions that you cant control, everything is magnified. And in a small way, it isnt the person's fault.. a mental illness, is an illness.. its not something you cause on your own (read it up). Its genetic and by the experiences that have haunted you or made too much of an impact on you that it debilitates your life.

my point is, people who contemplate suicide or do manage suicide, i feel.. are really oppressed, stressed and mentally ill people. When i say mentally ill, it doesnt have to mean that he/she is jumping off walls and running around naked. There are different types, that affect people differently..

maybe instead of writing about how stupid is he and how much disregard he had of his family... maybe a more effective entry or story would be one of real suicide prevention.. start from the basics, how to prevent it.. instead of literally battering the dead. They infact can only rest in peace from now on.

sorry for the slightly emotional reply.. but i did have a friend whom jumped off her university building on purpose and died. I know that she did it because she wasnt well.. and she needed help.. and the people around her (and you know how people can be cruel) did not give her the support she needed. She needed therapy and support..

even those who die by their own hands deserve respect..

i know this story of yours is totally fictional.. and you have really good intentions.. infact i guess it was soo good =) that it evoked soo much feelings from me.. and i guess thats what writers want most =)


suicide isnt being selfish or stupid.. its caused by the real human condition of having illnesses.. i just wish people were more aware of these diseases, and care enough to help those that do need it. Hopefully suicide would not happen anymore, or happen less with more public education.

pikey said...

it's jz sad... hope more ppl solve their problems without death....

Christopher said...

Wow...mind bogging! But IMHO, suicide is n irresponsible act for some1 who doesn't want to shoulder anything, including himself/herself! =(

Quickening said...

@RM: Yay! I can always count on you give the best comment! :D

When you say it's a direct attack on the suicide person, yes, yes, and more of that, yes.

It is as blatant as I say it. I've read the book Prozac Nation, which is an autobiographical account of a very suicidal person. She kept blaming her mental illness for her depression and pops drugs to fell better.

I have to hit strongly on the dead character because it's the negative feelings and strong emotions that drove the person to commit suicide.

If I do it "it's-not-your-fault" way, that's too light. Strong words and strong expressions can reach them, because it's to discipline their minds to wake up and think of finding answers to the problems.

Just as much as the suicide victim will probably never see the effects of his act, the living, the family and friends, will only keep guessing what drove him/her to do it.

And I'm not a psychiatrist. I'm not a professional therapist. I won't write a how-to-save-a-life guide, because I don't know how, and I don't want to do it wrongly.

I've already provided links to websites at the bottom of the entry on real situations and real organizations that helps the suffering and their connections.

I'm a storyteller and I do this way best.

Mental illness is an illness, not a disability of the mind. Illnesses can be cured, or at least, be brought around.

They are the ones that should never be left alone or simply be said "the initiative must come from the person if they want to."

No, when it comes to mental illness, it is us, the family/friends, who must take the initiative.

In short, we must take partial blame.

"...Since she can’t be angry with you, she’s blaming your brother. She wants someone to blame. It’s her way of telling herself that she’s got nothing to do with your problems..."

And it must be us, we, ourselves, must never ignore anything suspicious when it comes to another person's mental well-being.

Calling mental illeness a genetic trait is like saying it's the family/upbringing fault. That it's hopeless because the victim had something inside of her that can't be saved.

Oppressed, supressed, depressed. If you can't change the person, change the environment.

There is no hard-and-fast-rule to the cause of mental illness.

Just as there is no hard-and-fast-rule to its cure.

But first and foremost, it is the person, the life, the personality, the strength of will, that must be cherished and protected.

You have to shake the person hard and make them listen that you're saying that the sun is shining, the birds are singing and whatever they got in their heads that's hurting the heart, admit it aloud that you got a problem so we can help.

And people do want to help. That's why we got doctors and nurses and campaigns on public awareness.

My cousin, my first-cousin, suffers from mental illness after her boyfriend broke up with her (he moved to Kelantan and she stayed in Johor). She was very close to the point of self-destruct when everybody just thought she'll recover-yeah-she'll-recover-let-her-recover.

She was still recuperating in the hospital throughout the year she was suppose to take her SPM exams. She's okay now, the family saved her.

She may no longer be the same as before, not as witty and smart as before and we don't want to have to push her to her again. But that doesn't stop us from giving her some honest hard work and an honest normal life, making sure she never, EVER, fall into melancholy again.

Nobody can ever be let living alone, can we? :)

I'm really sorry to hear about your friend. How is the family doing it nowadays?

Most people then to hide from the fact there's mental illnesses. Calling it genetic also leads to stereotyping and humiliation of the family. Afterall, mental illness is very much a taboo subject.

My cousin wasn't shamed. She beat it and we're all so proud of her.

Hugs to you too,
Thanks for the very extesive comment.

Quickening said...

@colourfulworld: Thanks! :)
Don't try to live everyday like it's your last day on earth because you only got one day on earth that's your last.

@pikey: You know what's even sadder? People who kept denying that they got a problem because they think they're being good by not bothering everybody else.
Thanks for commenting. :)

@christopher: That's true. They can't run or hide anywhere else, or deposite their negativity on others anymore, then they start to blame the world.

Suicide is a chain reaction. When one does it, other tired and weary ones would start to want to do it too because they think its a way out.

What kind of ignorant society we would be if we just let them promote suicide?
Thanks for commenting :)

Raising Mercury said...

thx for your reply =) although one small point.. it is passed down genetically, i did my reading. environmental does play a part as well, but if that someone didnt have this illness, she/he WOULD be strong enough to face adversity.. those with this problem, find it ten times harder.. hence the breakdowns...their mind, their train of thoughts work differently frm normal people.

some just have mental illnesses or depression because of the family tree. Its similar to getting like cancer or color blindness from the combination of chromosomes from mom and dad. It is a taboo subject. Everyone wants to blame other people or the environment, but like you said and i agree, it is an illness.. which can indeed be cured. BUT... another point, it takes reallllyy long, with experimenting on different types of medicines (i did my reading).. it can be downright taxing... from dysthimia to bipolar disorder to obsessive compulsive disorder..

i admire the fact that you are interested in this topic of suicide. we do have support groups for suicides. befrienders is a big one but its non governmental and i know it needs funding and people to volunteer. befrienders is mostly like phone counseling, or to give advice. but if you know anyone with mental illness symptoms.. you should take them to the doctor straight away.. no point phoning anyone technically.

its important to 'catch' it while its still new.. and it hasnt grown to unsavable/suicidal proportions. its a big problem worldwide.. its one of those silent deadly quiet illnesses that everyone is too afraid to talk about, to face or to even admit..

nobody wants to be a 'loco'
but the denial itself, makes it grow...

thx again for the enlightening post =)

you are indeed at talented writer! i would never be able to write something like that =)


kljs said...

Very good blog post! Maybe you should show it to those who take their live for granted. They might learn a thing or two....

shinyin_jocelyn said...

people with suicidal ideation never think that far...they have nilistic thoughts of a hopeless life, a hopeless world... i liked this article.... it makes people think twice before getting impulsive to a suicidal regretful decision....

btw, attempt suicide is a crime...

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