Recently, a story hit my social media feeds about an Ohio couple who committed suicide. Stories like this always bother me. It would have been such a simple thing to save this couple.
That they committed suicide doesn’t bother me. I know why they did it. Their continued existence had become little more than the rapid accumulation of debts that they can’t pay and won’t ever be able to pay. Honestly, I don’t know many poor people who haven’t had the “would it be better to just leave?” argument with themselves. I know couples who have had honest conversations about which one of them would be the better suicide candidate so that the other would get at least a little sympathy help. I know someone who has a plan in place for when their debt reaches a certain level. We all know there’s only one way out of this pit.
The Speidel’s did it fairly responsibly too. They weren’t just thinking about themselves when they did it. They let their cats out so they wouldn’t get hurt. They put a sign on their door warning about the carbon monoxide. They even used carbon monoxide so they didn’t leave a mess. They just lit a couple of grills and went to sleep. For them there was no other choice. The only way they saw to end their situation was suicide.
The whole story pissed me off beyond measure because of what happened afterwards.
After it happened, friends and neighbors started saying things like “if we had only known we would have helped”.
To those friends and neighbors I address the following statement:
YOU ARE FUCKING LIARS!
YOU KNEW! You fucking knew and you ignored them because of it. In fact, it’s likely the entire reason you were ignoring them. This couple was screaming for help for a long time. They were overwhelmed by circumstances beyond their control and the only way to fix it was through money. Which they had no ability to generate; and which no one else was willing to let go of. They tried multiple fundraisers to try and get a little support from their friends and neighbors. But their requests fell on deaf ears.
Now those same people who ignored them want to pretend they cared?
You’re the reason they’re dead. They came to you for help and you ignored them because you DID NOT CARE. Do not insult them by pretending you care now. If you had wanted to help, you would have.
They were dead already. They needed $20,000 to come back to life. They needed 2000 people to be willing to give them $10. That’s it.
But that’s not what you saw. You didn’t see a small burden that could be easily disbursed throughout a group. You saw something someone else might get that you weren’t getting. You saw that they were asking for $20,000 and judged them greedy, lazy, and selfish. You weren’t going to help because you weren’t going to “just give” someone $20,000. And guess what: That’s what killed them. Knowing that, not only could they not earn the money, they had no support to do anything about it because no one else cared; that’s what killed them.
The problem isn’t that people don’t know.
They just don’t fucking care.