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To ‘On Being,’
Re: to the recent show with Jennifer Michael Hecht and her book, ‘Stay,’ I had some observations to share. Though a part time university philosophy instructor for 30 years, most of that time has been as a licensed behavioral health clinician in trauma. While I appreciate some points Jennifer offers, it would have helped some of us to acknowledge the nature of suicide in relation to those who suffer beyond the level of ‘impulse.’ For these people, there is pain that transcends the “need for each other.” Unfathomable, indescribable pain that one wants to escape at any cost, even of life. To ‘consider the impact on others!’ is a fairly tired and glib cliché in suicidology. To suggest that these people “choose” to feel this way, and to consider cheering up by perhaps ‘playing a video game’ as a distraction is a bit of an insult. Nothing romantic or philosophical about it; it just hurts that much.