I appreciate your viewpoint. And much of it is true. BUT...and no matter what, there's always a but...
...but, I disagree with some of what you said.
But this is why it is absolutely imperative that someone who is depressed seek out others.
Depression to me is a Monster. It is one of the evilest and most heartwrenching disorders I've ever suffered and seen others suffer. I'd rather have a physical affliction as I think then it wouldn't affect my heart so badly. It has claws that dig into your very soul and squeezes with such force that sometimes taking a breath means physical pain. Asking a severely (suicidally) depressed person to step out and seek others is like asking a mute to speak. Sometimes it just physically cannot happen! That's why it's so imperative that us as a community, as friends, as family, keep a close eye on EACH OTHER. IF we are close and in touch and Friends in the deepest sense of the word, then we'll be close enough to the situation to KNOW when the depression takes a turn for the worse. Perhaps I'm being too Pollyanna about this, but I think this has to be a collaboration of the community. Am I my brother's keeper? *shrug* Some may not agree with me, but yes, I think we are to "keep" an eye on those that can't do it for themselves. Does that mean a lot of work? Yes. Sometimes more than what we alone are capable of, thus we need to band together in order to do it.
I believe that many times, a suicidal person believes they are doing others a favor by "leaving". Not once on both of my attempts had I just been thinking of myself. I was thinking of EVERYONE around me. My affairs were in order and I was "ready" as I could be. My attempts weren't even going to be messy, just falling asleep and never returning. My depression had taken its toll on my friends around me at that time and I knew it. I KNEW I was an emotional burden, thus I wanted to shorten their frustrations by getting rid of the problem.
It is our obligation, our responsibility to do whatever we can to help them find their way out. Having said that, all we can do is offer a hand but the one depressed must want to find their way out.
Yes! Sometimes the reason to live is the hand that is reaching out to them. I've suffered lately with my own depression in ways I haven't in years. It's debilitating emotionally and sometimes physically. The ONE and ONLY thing that keeps me from doing myself in, is knowing it would devastate my husband. Nothing personal about this community, but nobody here is as close as my Mozz is to me. I know my parents would be disappointed and angry, but I really don't care about their reactions. I know my in-laws would be terribly upset, but they would overcome. My friends at church and here would be upset as well, but it wouldn't stop them in their tracks. God would be disappointed as well, but I know He loves me and would understand my decision better than anyone. My husband? Now there is a different story. He is a gentle and tender spirit with his own demons to battle. Demons that I help him battle. If I were to leave in a self-destructive manner, I have no question that his own demons would return in full force, perhaps even overcoming him. Thus my reason for sticking around is HIM. I can't leave him. I don't know if he realizes that and I don't know if that's a good enough reason (for you readers) for me to continue living, but here I am. *checking pulse* Yep, still here.
In my case I did not want to die; I wanted anything but to die. With Nina's father, he not only did not want to find a way out, he embraced death. In retrospect I believe he wanted to die for many years before he actually did it.
Chris, I think in situations like this, especially older people, have considered a lot of alternatives and this is the only one within reach. And I think the answer behind it is simple: they're tired. Just plain tired of it all. Tired of the pain, tired of the fighting, tired of the empty platitudes that most people give, just down and out tired. And I don't blame them. IF that was the case with your FIL and with Ary, then I do not begrudge their choice. Like I said earlier to Dave, I am relieved for them. Being angry at them for "going" is like being mad at a terminally ill cancer patient that just wants to go in peace. It would be rather selfish of US to ask them to hang on for US.
They're tired of the pain and don't have what it takes to overcome it, so why not let them go peacefully? I know you would have the tenderness to allow a terminally ill patient go in peace and dignity. I guess I don't see how some people with depression are any different. Sometimes depression is terminal.
Just more of my thoughts...