I did not know who Anthony Bourdain or Kate Spade were before this week, but they're kin to me now. Vic Chesnutt described himself as a suicide long before he did it, and I was struck by the comfort it gave me to privately call myself the same thing. Always nice to have a name for a thing. I'm not a likely candidate, having the amazing life I have, but I have understood the impulse forever, and have an unhelpful homunculus who suggests it regularly. I never exclaim "Why?!": I know.
People are wondering, wondering, with each death, and this article really has the answer (thanks to the Info Pusher for sharing). Things are shitty. Depending on where you're looking, and who's around you, it can be unbearable. Why lie about that? I don't believe we can change it until we admit it. Consumerism, unbridled greed, passive overstimulation, the murder of the environment, the decimation of war, radical individualism - these are shit. They kill people's souls - why wouldn't they kill people?
I'm not pretending to know why these two people became suicides. I'm not even interested. I didn't read the details on that dude in the States who lit himself on fire in a park... I just see the headline and go, Yep, I get it. I'm interested in the general idea, and the general reasons, and in joining honest conversations.
I imagine dinners, shared, being the solution. I suspect that admitting and discussing our need for love, our need for company, will help us. That talking about how things are - rather than overdosing on shitty news, all alone with our phones - will be healing. And that talking about nothing - fucking sports, even - is healing. I want to throw more parties. I think it's a good alternative to suicide, and in terms of solving things, a reasonable course of action.
I will always respect a person's choice to check out. It is not stupid, or cowardly, or evil. It's lonely and sad. Suicides need a hug. They need community and love, and trees and water and dinner.
The lesson of our age might be that Too Late is Too Late. Act now.