The Thing About Suicide
I had just finished writing a highhanded blog about Suicide Prevention Week. Actually it was pretty good, considering the subject matter. I generally don't have much sympathy for people who take their own lives. It's a loser's gambit as far as I'm concerned. But then I heard of the eighteen year old young man in B.C. who had been moved out of his group home because of it's unsatisfactory conditions. Four months ago he had been placed in a hotel room by child and family services without any supervision or guidance. Yesterday he went out the window, kissing the concrete four floors below. That was his last act.
Now of course the agency in question is devastated, saying he should never have been placed in a hotel and should never have been left alone. Obviously they never took note of the girl in Manitoba who was staying in a hotel and was murdered a few months back and the tearful minister vowing to remove children in their care from hotels. I got a notion that neither of these ministers would be nearly as devastated if it hadn't been splashed all over the TV. This kid had no one, not even the agency who's care he was in. He was sitting in the hotel room for four months - like solitary confinement. So there's somebody whose mental outlook you can sympathize with or at least understand.
That Derek Zaretsky fellow on the other hand who murdered little Hailey Blanchette and her father, tried to commit suicide while in custody and is now in hospital. I really, really hope he survives. He should live a long life in prison so that each and every day he can be reminded of the terrible things he has visited upon so many people, including his own family. He did it, so he should live with it without mercy.
So there you have two completely opposite sides of the same issue. On the one hand you have somebody who's been absolutely abandoned for a long period of time. That's an outcome that should never have happened. On the other, you have somebody who has perhaps realized what he has wrought and so takes the coward's way out of his dilemma.
Do I have a solution? You know me better than that - of course I do! A lot of these problems can be solved around the family dinner table before they even become problems. Well, at least if we still had families and dinner tables. At least that's how it seems to me from up here on the top shelf.