Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Suicide

That is, or more exactly was Richard "Dick" Trickle, former NASCAR driver.  Almost a year ago, on a pleasant day in May, a Thursday morning (May 16), he drove to a cemetery, drove to the back.  He calmly dialed 911, and reported a suicide, tragically it was his own.

Dick, was an interesting man for those who knew him.  See above from an in-car camera shot during a red flag I assume, you see him lighting up a cigarette.  Even at 71 years of age, he was considered to be one of the best drivers in the US.  No he did not win 200 races, or seven championships at the highest level of NASCAR, he might not have even been a contender, but he was the butt of a lot of jokes.  I mean common Dick Trickle, even today that gets some jokes.  But the man always had a great personality about it.  His problem wasn't talent, it was his personality, he didn't have the urge to be famous at the national level.  He didn't care about winning championships, he just wanted to win races.  Sadly by the time he came around to the highest level of stock car racing his age got him.

So imagine that day in May, he calmly dials up the 911 dispatch, reports his own suicide.  Those closest to him, his wife, children, and friends got the call that he was gone, that he had taken his own life.  I cannot imagine that horrible call.  I don't think I want to.  Those closest to him never saw it coming, and in that way Dick Trickle was like so many other suicides.  We never see the signs, we never get this big flashing sign.  It just falls on us, out of the clear blue sky.  That is why it hurts so much.

In Trickle's case, it turns out a simple broken heart.  Nothing was ever found wrong with him.  At 71 years old he was in good health.  But he could never get over the death of his grand daughter.  So many people commit suicide, and it is a painful subject, but the reasons for it are numerous.  I know people say it is a permanent solution to a temporary problem, but really sometimes the pain has been there so long, there is no escape from it.  His pain was every bit as real as when we cut ourselves, become injured physically, but really it was his mind causing it.

It is hard for someone like to to acknowledge that some people simply run out of power to keep going.  I am too stubborn, to pig headed, to many things to just roll over and die.  I fight, its in my blood, I live for battle, I always have, and I do not see a time in my life that I will not.  But, some people can only take so much, before they are finished.  We must always remember that before we toss a stigma onto suicides. 


Pictured above is another suicide, Chris Benoit.  We all know what happened there, at least you do if you were a fan, or follow wrestling.  He took the lives of his wife and son, before he killed himself.  I think the answers are more telling than the actions.  As it turns out now he suffered from a type of dementia, and when added with the steroids that he had been using, he went into a psychotic state, and when he returned to reality, saw what he had done, he could not come to terms with it.

It was a tragedy, all suicides are, no matter the reason.  But again, few if any people saw the signs.  And we also have something else to throw into this mix, and this might have aggravated the circumstances.  We found out after his death that Chris only had a year left at best.  Like so many of his peers, specifically Eddie Guerrero, his heart was going to fail him.  Added on to it, he had lost what many considered his best friend, and the fact that he had multiple concussions at the same time, it turned out badly for everyone. 

The point of it all is, do I find suicide as an answer.  No, but some people do.  I do not like it, I would tell someone on the verge to keep fighting.  But ultimately, people will do as they will do.  My Uncle committed suicide, unable to live life without his twin.  Dick Trickle couldn't live with his pain.  Benoit could not deal with his actions, and his losses.  Suicides around the world cannot deal with whatever confronts them, if it is years of pain and suffering, years of being kicked when down.  Years of people constantly putting them down as they struggle and fight.  Ultimately, like so many things, we cannot understand it, until we are truly at the end of our rope, and hopefully someone will come along and support us, before we hang from it.

These two are not the only two I could have brought up, but they are two that I watched growing up.  Two men that I respected, and the waste their lives became.  Sure some people would call them cowards, and in Benoit's case a monster.  But they were damaged people.  And they deserve our pity in that regard, all damaged people, no matter if they become a monster deserve our pity.  More so, when we cannot help them or fix them.

Also, this is not an avocation for suicide.  Seriously, if you feel the urge to kill yourself, you should immediately seek the help of mental health professionals.  The act of suicide puts others in risk of following your path.  IE, if you commit suicide, it increases the chances of someone in your family committing suicide, and while you might not care about your own well being, you should still care about those around you.  If you feel suicidal, I ask that you call 1-800-273-8255, or visit the Lifeline Website, talk to them about all that ills you.  Its not just your life.  You are not an island all to yourself.  We are all interconnected, its a Butterfly Effect.