A recently posted essay (you may download it here) argues that some aspects of suicide are inexplicable and suggests that if survivors of suicide loss who are struggling with the question "Why?" can embrace "the element of mystery as being as real as any other aspect of what [suicide] is all about," they might increase their "understanding and peace of mind by some measure."
Here are some of the observations that I claim "illustrate vital components of suicide that make this self-directed fatal act seem inexplicable":
- Suicide requires the person who dies to overcome the innate human will to live, which is genetically designed to be a powerful and even invincible force.
- Suicidal people, in almost every instance, are ambivalent about killing themselves -- so their behavior leading up to their death can be starkly contradictory because actions driven by the fact that they want to die occur side-by-side with actions motivated by the fact that they want to live.
- Before the person died, internal factors existed -- and perhaps also some external circumstances -- that only he or she knew about.
- In the end, the only person who is eligible to say firsthand why a particular suicide happened is the person who died by suicide in that instance.
The essay lists versions of these conundrums in the form of personalized questions that I hope lead people bereaved by suicide who are bedeviled by the "why" of it to a story of their own about what happened -- a story "based on who you knew the person to be (and who the person in essence still is, in relation to you)."