Suicide: When is it the Right Moment to Die?

Whenever someone dies, we often hear people say, “He’s gone too soon” or “She died unexpectedly”.  With so many people considering suicide, is there a particular time when it would be considered the ‘right moment’ to die?

Websites such as www.death-clock.org and www.deathclock.com use a variety of factors such as lifestyle, weight (BMI), age and gender, date of birth, alcohol consumption, and smoking habits, to make a prediction on an individual’s life expectancy. According to these websites, I’m expected to die about 36 years from now. Is this even possible? Can we make predictions on the fate of our lives? Do we have control over the exact moment when we die? Can we even trust ourselves to know the right moment to die?

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People from the ancient past used to try out a variety of options in their quest for immortality. Some of them dedicated their entire lives to search for the elusive ‘elixir of life’. On the other hand, some people believe that immortality is a concept that focuses more on spiritual living as opposed to extending the life of the physical body. In our time, though, no one expects to live forever. Yet, no one expects to die either. It always comes as a surprise even when people die after living long and fulfilled lives, well beyond the life expectancy rate.

So when is the right moment to die? Those people going through various struggles in their lives would say that committing suicide would solve all their problems. For them, that is the right moment to die. That is their justification. Those suffering debilitating illnesses can choose to die instead of living in pain. In their minds, they would believe it is the right thing to do.

But perhaps we are looking at this the wrong way. Maybe it’s not about choosing the right moment to die. Possibly, it’s about being ready for the moment death comes calling. When patients are informed by their doctors that they have a few months to live, they set out to get their affairs in order, in readiness for that expected day. Though the dying patients are sad to leave their loved ones behind, their moment of death is expected. It is a moment that is not accepted but will occur nonetheless. It is this insight that we should focus on.

In a pivotal scene in the movie “The Last Samurai”, actor Tom Cruise was asked by the Emperor to describe how the Samurai leader had died. He took a pause, and then responded by saying, “I will tell you how he lived”. That’s what is important: Living.

Ask anyone how the great heroes of the past like Einstein or Galileo died and most people won’t have the answer. Ask them how these heroes lived, though, and their achievements will be listed with a degree of excitement. Death is an uncomfortable topic, filled with memories of those we have lost and the anxiety of our expected end. We must all face that day eventually.

Chief Tecumseh once said, “Live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home”.

Perhaps it’s not the right moment to die that is important. Rather, it is right way we live that counts.

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9 thoughts on “Suicide: When is it the Right Moment to Die?

  1. Ecclesiastes 3 “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: (2 ) A time to be born, and a time to die;…”
    Psalms 139: (16)Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me,…”
    I understand this to mean that even the suicides days were numbered. God knows how and when each of will die. He is sovereign and in control.

    Great post!

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    • Thanks lensgirl53. Great quotes also. The second verse does raise the question, though, of whether (for those who believe in God) human beings are predetermined or whether they are free. Did God know a person would commit suicide before they were even born, or does He know a person will commit suicide because of the decisions he/she is currently making? Interesting thought.

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  2. […] ← Suicide: When is it the Right Moment to Die? September 19, 2014 · 8:35 am ↓ Jump to Comments […]

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  3. […] As 29-year old Brittany Maynard lay on her bed surrounded by the people she loved the most, she knew this was the right moment to die. […]

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  4. […] You are going to go through a lot of pain in this world; that is guaranteed. There will be sickness, heartbreak, loss and failure. These things will make you feel weak and insignificant. In other moments, you will find yourself feeling alone and judged. In others, you will be indifferent to what is going on around you. Worse still, there will be moments when you will believe that the world would be a better place if you were dead. […]

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  5. […] I knew died recently. She had been suffering from depression for a while and had even attempted suicide. Each time, though, she was rushed to the hospital. She eventually had kids and with the help of […]

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  6. […] expression are fought for valiantly across continents and through the internet, having the power to take your own life ‘legally’ is still a thorny […]

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  7. […] matter what you will go through in the coming weeks, suicide should not be an option that you consider. In time, perhaps everything will work out and you will be able to get some […]

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  8. […] still, there are many people contemplating suicide right now and they have no one to turn […]

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