Define 'selfish'

I knew a woman who adopted a dog from a shelter. The dog's previous owner had died, and the creature was depressed to the point where it didn't even want to eat. He and his owner had lived on the other side of town, and the dog would always stare at the garden gate, looking off into the distance, wanting to leave. He was chained near his pen, and sometimes he would try to break loose whenever the gate was opened. One day, I'm not sure what happened, but the dog managed to escape. The woman who had adopted him was furious, claiming that she had fed him, paid attention to him, and looked after him. Perhaps she had, but she didn't seem to understand that the pain the dog was going through was greater than anything that can be cured with some kibble and a couple pats on the head. 

In regards to suicide, I question who is truly the selfish one in this case. "I don't care how much you're suffering or how miserable you are, you're staying with me. I won't let you leave me". Who is the selfish one in this situation? I'm not denying that some people who commit suicide are just being selfish, and in a previous story on suicide, I'd mentioned poet Sylvia Plath, committing suicide with her two children in the next room. That is pretty selfish, true. Yet, sometimes, it is not the person who is committing suicide that is selfish, but rather the people keeping him or her from finding relief, because it would hurt them. 

My best friend committed suicide. She was much older than me, but she was my friend nonetheless. She was 39, and I was only 15, but for some reason she would still turn to me for advice and support. Everyone else would bash her about. Sometimes literally. It is not my place to tell you what she had been through, but I will tell you that it was severe. And it wasn't just one thing, it was one after the other. She was strong, she had waited. 24 years, to be exact. It never got better, like all her therapists promised her. She never felt happier, though, dammit, she tried. I'd never seen anyone try as much. But some things just don't change or go away. They don't get always better, despite what movies and novels would have you believe. And one day, she'd had enough. 

She came to me. She wasn't crying. She wasn't yelling. She came up to me, calmly, and told me she'd had enough. She'd said that a couple of times, but this time she was serious. I could see it in her eyes. She told me she'd always appreciated everything I'd done for her, but that she'd been waiting too long, and that she thought of all people, I should have a right to know that she was giving up. I knew her. I knew this wasn't a cry for attention, she was going to go through with it. 

Now, I know there are many who wouldn't agree with what I told her. I told her I loved her. I told her that her life was very important to me. I told her that I would miss her, everyday. However, I also told her that I couldn't even imagine what she was going through, and that it wasn't my place to decide for her. I told her that if she wanted to keep trying, I would hold her hannd as she went from therapist to therapist. If she wanted to die, though...I told her I would be the one that never forgot her, that always remembered and loved her, even in death. 

She'd held on for a while, but a week later she was gone. 

In a previous story of mine, I spoke of the right to die. This is not only about the right to die, but the right to peace

And she'd never looked more peaceful than she did when they lay her to rest. 
MilkMoon MilkMoon
18-21, F
Nov 24, 2011