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The Funeral Home

May 18, 2008

I was just IM’ing with a friend about this, and as I typed it, it occurred to me just how strange this is to look back on. So I thought I’d share it here…

When I was in middle school, my best friend’s dad owned a funeral home. At the time, our small town was just starting to get cable television. The funeral home just happened to be located in the part of town that was among the first to get cable, so my friend and I would hang out there all weekend and watch TV, usually Fraggle Rock (we LOVED that show) and MTV.

In between watching TV, we would put on our roller skates and skate around the caskets. At the time, we didn’t think a thing of it. Looking back, I guess it seems a little (ok, maybe a lot) weird.

Anyway, what’s even weirder to think about is that a few years later her dad committed suicide. I can’t help but wonder what must have been going through his mind during those years at the funeral home. Was he really unhappy all those years? Or did something inside him just snap? And I wonder if being surrounded by death all the time made him numb to it?

As I told my friend over IM today, I’ve always been drawn to sad things. Sad stories, sad songs… but I am a pretty upbeat person, which I think might make me a little more capable of handling sadness than some, I dunno… at any rate, to me, it’s just really interesting, and weird, to think about my friend’s dad. I wonder, would things have turned out differently had he chosen a different profession? I’d be interested to see if the suicide rates are higher for folks who work with death on a daily basis.

My friend pointed me to this article which is very bizarre and interesting but also a little sad. Imagine growing up beside a “suicide bridge.” As he, it would definitely open up opportunities for parents to talk to their children about death, but to me this might be just a bit too close for comfort.

Knowing a few people who have committed suicide, I always wonder what must be going through their heads as they are just about to pull the trigger, take the pills, jump off the bridge or whatever they do to meet their demise. I can only assume it’s probably the most extreme degree of desperation that anyone can imagine. And people do some really crazy things out of desperation. But is it crazy, really? I’ve always thought so… but in chatting with my friend today, he said something really interesting; “i mean it doesn’t seem crazy to me, when your old and your body is failing you to try and recover. its just downhill to put it simply.” I guess he’s right. And if you look at it that way, shouldn’t you have the choice to just end it if you feel like all that remains is a downhill ride? (Although after typing that I realize I can only go along with that idea for about a minute, because what really sucks is that by ending it they leave their loved ones behind to deal with it.) But I couldn’t agree with him more when he said “you should get everything done while your young and healthy.” So true.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Tiffany permalink
    May 18, 2008 1:44 pm

    Well, I’m not sure about everyone, but I know for me, long ago, when I attempted suicide, I wasn’t feeling really sad or desperate at that moment. The odd thing was, was that that I felt relieved. I think because at the time, I felt like that was the only answer and once it was done I wouldn’t feel anything anymore- the pain, the sadness, the loneliness. I was content, dare I say at peace. I’ve spoken with several others who felt the same way.

    Of course now that I am older, and am on anti-depressants, I see that it was not the answer, and that it would have probably torn my family apart- and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, but I can kind of understand how someone who commits suicide must have felt, and I think I’ll forever be grateful for that knowledge. I don’t think I could have been able to comprehend that had I not been in that position many years ago.

  2. May 18, 2008 2:58 pm

    Wow i never knew that about you! well I am so glad that it sounds like you learned what you needed to learn from it… it makes me really sad to think about you not being here girl!!!

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