Suicide – it’s something I’ve thought about for a while, but only from the perspective of escape. It seems like a way out of all the pain that is life. Most people don’t experience life this way so they won’t understand when I call life pain. “Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.” So true, Mr. Goldman, so true.
Anyway, I started watching 13 Reasons Why without any expectations other than the main actor reminds me of a young Freddie Price, Jr. Am I dating myself there? Probably.
Probably no one will read this blog, and that’s okay. In some ways, I hope no one does. My words just out in the ether (aether, maybe?). Is that the correct usage? I wonder.
Back to the show. I started watching 13 Reasons Why today, and it’s hitting me harder than I expected. Not for the reasons one might assume. As someone who has thought about suicide, written about suicide, and attempted suicide twice, the idea is not unfamiliar or even frightening. It’s almost comforting in a weird way. There’s still part of me that thinks of death as falling asleep: “Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget/What thou among the leaves hast never known.” The irony is that the nightingale has known nothing but pain if one really thinks about the origins of the story: Philomela, the stumped tongue saying “Jug Jug” for all you T.S. Elliot fans. But I digress.
Death, for me, does not seem as scary or painful as the possibility of continuing to live. I say “to live” deliberately and not “of continuing life” because I’m realizing that living is action. Does that make sense? I imagine Hannah felt the same.
But I didn’t account for the people left behind. The image of her parents at her locker – that’s what’s haunting me. “Why is it like that?” the mother asks. That’s the question my parents would be asking about my stuff in my apartment if they had to sort through it. That thought is chilling. There would be more questions than answers, questions I wouldn’t have to answer but they would have to deal with. Could I handle that, even if I was gone?