Obviously this is a very big subject and I can’t begin to cover it so I will just address suicide in relation to end of life issues.
I've come to believe that most people who have been told they can’t be fixed, in the months before the dying process begins, will think about suicide. Yet very few people actually follow through with those thoughts. I think those thoughts of ending our life originate from the fears of what life will be like from this point until death occurs. “I am more afraid of this final act of living than I am of being dead. ”We fear the idea of pain, of loss of control, of debilitation, of humiliation and indignities, of isolation, and ultimately of the unknown.
When I think a person is having these thoughts and fears I start addressing the specific fears: No one has to die in pain today; we will keep you mobile and active as long as you have the desire (It may not be active as you know it today but we will help you get your needs and wants met); you are the boss, the keeper and director of your destiny; your dignity will be respected at all times. You are a human being, not a disease and we honor that. You are not alone, ask anything, let’s keep the doors of communication open and I can tell you what it is like to die if you ask me. You will probably sleep through the actual experience. In the weeks before death you will be withdrawn, have turned inward and sleeping most of the time. Your focus will no longer be on this outer world, most will just seem like a dream.
Thinking about suicide is a normal reaction to being told we can’t be fixed. Communication, talking openly about it and the fears initiating those thoughts, neutralizes some of the fear we will all bring to our final challenge.