Mental Illness

Caregiving: A Grumpy Juniper

It’s fair to say that I’m in something of a mood at the moment. It would be foolish to say the world has been watching the VICE incident unfold, but it seems a small fraction of the world has been.

This fraction seems to consist of those who can see why the photo spread was A Bad Idea and those who think people who have attempted/succeeded in a suicide are fair game. I’m sure there are people in the middle, too. Those who can see that perhaps it is kinder not to mock, but otherwise sit on the fence. I’m sure there are people across the whole spectrum when it comes to how we view suicide.

There may be people who disagree with me, of course there will be. There’s almost seven billion people in the world. My suspicions are such that someone somewhere disagrees. I don’t think suicide is beautiful and I don’t feel there is any beauty to be found in the act of attempting suicide. That doesn’t mean that it is okay to mock people who are suicidal. If you haven’t got something nice to say, and all that goes with it. Or go seek therapy to find the root of the issue that prompts you to suggest that a person who is standing on the edge is worthy of ridicule. Making jokes about suicide is no better than yelling, “Jump!” Mockery reduces a person swirling in the chaos of suicide to entertainment.

The suggestion of how to attempt suicide is something else altogether. You don’t think my husband knows? You don’t think I’ve seen the how-to sites on our computer history? Mr. Juniper has done it the “wrong” way. There was no humour in the hours of surgery that followed. There is no humour about the pain he is still in eight years later. He has tried various other methods. His presence in my life now is evidence that he hasn’t succeeded. I can’t say I’ve found humour when crying down the phone to the Police Officer who has found him, who has told him it’s okay, when I couldn’t. I can’t say I find amusement in finding him in a hospital bed hooked up to drips. His mind has been desperate to kill him, his body refuses to concede defeat. I’m trying, but nope, can’t find any humour.

But then, I don’t want to to mock the person who uses my husband as entertainment. Some might, I’m sure. I don’t. That person? The one who wants to tell my husband how he may be better placed to remove himself from our lives? Just go. Far away. Pity? Anger? I think I’m somewhere past them, now. Somewhere closer to relief. Relief that I know I can look away from the written comments. Stop listening to the oral ones. Relief that I can walk away from that belief, that attitude. Relief that my husband is here now, and that’s what matters to me.

By Juniper

Rarely to be found without herbal tea nearby. Team Unicorn. Often in pyjamas. Also: TEAM KATNISS!

One reply on “Caregiving: A Grumpy Juniper”

I saw the coverage of it and I didn’t want to give them or other sites exploiting it pageviews. I’ve never – thankfully – been that directly touched by suicide, but I have friends who have, and since then I can’t see it as anything other than a horrible loss of life to illnesses we should have better treatments for already.

Leave a Reply