if my memory serves me right, i knew atleast three people who attempted to commit suicide. one of which was successful, she was actually my land lady's daughter when i was in college. although i never talked to her, i knew her as a very reserved person. i seldom see her talking to somebody or open her lips, thats how extreme she was. i thought she was just an introvert but not that troubled. so me and my roomates were just surprised when we heard our land lady screaming and crying at the top of her head one morning. we thought we slept again without fixing the beer bottles we drank last night. but when we went out of our room, we were surprised to see that neighbors were swarming their door. then a body covered in white sheets was being brought out of the house. then inside a van.one of our housemates who woke up earlier than the rest of us, informed us that rhea (our landlady' daugther) just hanged herself inside her room. there was a diary that was recovered at the top of her television next to her body. it noted there her turmoil about how everybody around her treated her and her lover.
later we learned that a year back, her family discovered that she was a lesbian and has a woman lover. as expected, her family forced her to break up with her lover. but rhea stood on her ground and tried to let her family understand. when she have no other option she decided to run away. they've lived in together for 3 months. then her family asked her to go back home. although not accepted, her family have just tolerated the fact that there daughter was a lesbian. thus, she returned.but what rhea didn't know was, it was not only her family that had the same sentiment against her and her lover. she was wrong when she taught that if there would be people that would understand her and her lover among everybody else, it would be her friends---there friends. since rhea and her lover came from the same circle of peers. rhea wasn't able to handle these fact.
the night before she hanged herself, she went out with her lover and friends. everybody claimed that they never saw rhea that happy that night. she was laughing, throwing jokes and dancing the entire time. it was as if rhea was a different person. but never they realized that would be the last time they will see her.nobody saw rhea's lover visiting her remains during the entire wake and even at her burial. somebody informed our land lady that she went abroad earlier as expected. from that point, no one ever heard from her again.
basically, the issue of suicide has always something that interests me. (but don't get me wrong, i know for sure that i am not suicidal nor have the tendencies to commit it.) it interests me in such a way that i kept on asking myself what could actually drive a person to commit suicide? is it just because of hopelessness? is it because of untolerable pain or emotional turmoil? is it because of extreme devotion or commitiment into something or someone? or is it all that matters?these questions could have already been answered by emile durkheim's study about suicide which is composed of four kinds: egoistic, altruistic, anomic and fatalistic. (for reference)
but i tend to try understanding it in a different perspective. then came the film shortbus.
shortbus was somehow the same as the story of rhea. one of the stories there were about two gay lovers that has the same name, jamie.
the first jamie was a child actor before of a low rated tv show about a black couple who adopted a white kid that keeps on claiming his also black but only albino. the adopted white kid was him. while the second jamie, who went on using james (to avoid conbfusion), was a former hooker and junkie. he recalls those times as the most rotten experiences of his life, where everybody was treating him like shit. until he met jamie.
jamie was the dominant one. while james was the passive. what was interesting about james was he always has his camera with him. in the story nobody exactly knew what james was actually filming. until the later part of the movie. he was actually making his suicide movie for jamie.
he wanted jamie to know that if ever he will die, jamie shouldn't blame himself: that it was his own personal decision. james was experiencing extreme depression that time. a type of depression that was not anchored to any negativities of his outside environment or his past. infact, james was surrounded with different people who loves, adores and accepted him for who he was. it was depression that was coming in him--- inside of him. this made him numb to feel those 'so much' love that was being given to him by his lover (/s you'll know why once you've watch the film) and friends.for me, the implicit reason for this was james wanted to end his life that way. he didn't want anything else the way he had it before. basically he wanted a life that have lived happily ever after like most of us would also wanted. that if people would be asked about him, james wanted them to remember him the last time they saw him --- in the happiest moment of his life. for indeed, first impression isn't lasting.
probably, this is the common thing for both of the stories above (aside from both were about homosexual partners), for people who commit suicide to see them by other people on their happiest state. an act that would represent a celebration of the lifetime that was given to them. a moment to be remembered by everybody they knew. i am no supporter nor against people who decides to commit suicide on their own free will. but in writing this, i have realized that reasons for commiting suicide should not be the only thing that we need to understand. sometimes even the ends or the purpose of it matters.
pictures are from the stars and scenes of the film, shortbus.