Be Kind to Those Who Choose to Go Quietly.

Photography by Laura Makabresku

Warning: This essay contains topics about suicidal tendencies and depression. If you are someone who experiences suicidal thoughts, it is advised that you discontinue reading for your own caution.

I dreamt of my death and then I awoke from that dream, eyes flooded with tears, my hands clutched to my chest from the heavy remnants of a dream I didn’t even consider a nightmare. I was glad when it felt real and then I wasn’t when my mind came back to its senses, prompting me to laugh in hysterics as I lay awake in a bed that mirrored what I was going through. That’s how it starts — when waking up alive becomes the misfortune. There aren’t enough words to express why anyone would even think to put their lives to an end. In my part, all I can say is that I’ve waited my whole life for a moment when I wouldn’t feel stuck any longer, and somehow the way out became the way out.

Maybe it’s because we get told in various ways that we’re not good enough. Eventually, it reaches a point where we don’t want to hear it anymore. It’s an overwhelming feeling that gnaws us when we go to sleep. To feel unworthy and yet still very much alive.

Despite this, many continue to murmur in circles about our mental state. There’s something sad in fictionalizing an unexplained suicide because you wanted to find a plausible explanation. When someone takes their own life, it’s typically because they’ve yearned for some kind of peace that may never arrive whilst being alive. To put it simply, it’s exhausting to push through hoping there’s a better end in all this. This feels like a reasonable explanation as any that doesn’t need to be further impeded in order to fit your preferred story.

Suicide is where the living berates the lost soul. Where the dead cannot be respected regardless of the immense pain the person had to go through to ultimately put their life to an end. Suicide should never be an option, but that hasn’t stopped anyone suicidal from attempting. I’m not saying that suicide is right nor should it be done, but to merely respect the passing — and surely not to make a whole story out of it.

Even when we choose to leave this world because being alive simply became unbearable, they’ll twist it for the dramatics. Fiddle with our life story. Assumptions will be made and that assumption will be treated and shared as a fact.

We were hurting then and even now (that we’re gone) it’s…

When someone willingly dies, you can mourn without theorizing why. Give them the rest they never received when they were alive. That’s the least any living person can do for someone who willingly chose to end their life.

Some people would mock us for choosing to die over something “so simple”, but we’re much complicated than that. We’ve had reasons after reasons to, and what appears to be simple has far more complexity than any individual could ever imagine. When someone ends their life because they lost something, it’s not just because they lost something; it’s also because it became another thing for them to lose — even if it objectively looks to be too insignificant to justify killing themselves over. There are so many layers to our pain that it wouldn’t be fair for you to act like you know any better without seeing the whole picture. See we’ve tried to live and we lived our lives by clinging onto things that might keep us alive. When we lose that, we see it as another loss, and what then?

How can one person who lost the ability to go on, go on? There’s a numbness to our body and mind that has slowly evolved in each waking moment, and it’s making us physically unable to live out our lives. Sometimes getting things done feels like an open invitation to get hurt some more.

I’ve tried to be responsible and I’ve chosen life plenty of times, but all that has ever done is allow in the hurt my entire being could not endure anymore.

We’re flawed and complex creatures who have long enough realized that happiness is a prize that can never be won, so the very idea of ‘giving up’ slowly pulled itself up into becoming the choice that we felt like was the only thing left to make.

Hikikomori

Photography by Silvia Gil-Roldán

Mother of mine I am completely unwell.
I see now that I must move cautiously on every clear line.

My feathers have all been plucked out,
and my tattered mind lingers in solitude.

With all these wrong roads I was told to take but could never quell,
a thought follows —
about a great leap that would have been mine.

Hung dry on this grievous drought.
Left with a feeble body ached to servitude.

This temperament gave a face so eerily composed;
not one tear has escaped since then.

The curtains now closed;
no more will this noxious sunlight slip in.

We Deserve Our Death for We Looked Away and Allowed It to Happen to Others

Photography by National Geographic


Despondent, the earth becomes.
Where peace draws its breath,
the world pretends to be somewhere else.

A time for an upheaval never comes.
Thus we’ve laid our wreath
On all the fallen progress.

The ice shifts to fire
And summer contrives snow.
That is every life to none.

And if the dance of death carries us away young,
then let it be now.

Moment of Tangency

Buckingham Palace

I.

A room full of people I barely know,
and then there’s you.

Eyes so blue;
I cannot take it upon myself to look away.

You impart smiles and move in kind gestures
to those need be entertained.

Words spoken so eloquently
to each individual in the room.

I write those words into letters
as though they were meant for me.

Anytime there’s the slightest glint of you walking my way,
you’re suddenly somewhere else.

Yet we swayed ourselves
into each other’s lives,
only so briefly.

A kind of love that ended so soon.
Alive in that singular evening,
then nonexistent by morning.

The only tenderness I’ve ever come to know
is of that clouded still midnight
when for the briefest of moments,
I meant something to you.


II.

The heavy heartache,
unspoken words, and feigned gestures.

Our thoughts are like letters we never send.

For all the titles I’ve chased for greed,
I could have at least took the time to reiterate the spirit of that winter’s night.

Alas, I chose without depth.
I went along where you weren’t.

Gave away the labour of something new.

Stolen glances are what our lost love is to be.
As almost lovers — my decisions led to be.

Your delicate brown eyes
sharply piercing through my lull skin.

It’s you, just you that’s left me undone.

Forgotten Machines

Still from The Woman Who Ran (2020) dir. Hong Sangsoo

The burden is here.
It’s in every life forgotten.
It’s in the table you sit on to contemplate the misery you carry.

What’s life when it’s wasted on someone else’s welfare?
Everything we’ve given, we’ve given for the temporary.

A drink in your hand.
“You’ve been here before?”

You gulp down your drink “What are we here for?”
Toiling away to time only to be erased fifty years later.

And I’m too much of something gone to even attempt another day with the living.

I Wish I Loved Myself More

Still from Dead Pigs (2018) dir. Cathy Yan

Death befallen.
Death to me; wilt I wait by the mountains and see?

People should be more careful with their words.
When it slips out of your tongue, it leads straight to mine.

And they turn into echoes you yell along to in the middle of the night.

Under the eclipse, harsh noises settled their teeth deep within my flesh.
Now all I’ve become is bones of regress.

Ultimately arriving at the conclusion of a quiet death.

Half of What’s Still Beating

Still from Pride and Prejudice (2005) dir. Joe Wright

My heart is not entirely broken and the reasoning is you.

Though for the longest while it has not been whole as it once used to be,
take heed, half my heart is still beating because I have you.

So when you feel as if you are not doing enough,
and your worries are still intact,
rest easy my love for you are all there is to keep me going.

we’re halfway dead with the way we treat each other.

busy steps in crowded pavements.
on with the work, they think to themselves.

not a life to live for but not much can be done
when you’re trapped in a thoughtless game never won.

so few tilt their heads and look at it questioningly
when higher echelons strive off of our success and failures mercilessly.

“up the ladder they go!”, we cheer on bitterly.

then why — why give blame to whomever vulnerable?
unfairly treated, belittled, and to put all fault in
yet never to those who presented it?
never to those who put them there?

they work just as much as us.
twice as much as miserable, thrice still not being enough?

apparently, to be not treated human
is when you’re not being paid enough.


equals do not exist here.
we have moneyed people to adhere.

as our misery escalates,
i do wonder of a world where we finally choose to save each other.