I did not demand answers, but it should be noted they were given by the people on whose property the suicide took place. I really don’t remember the blood relatives that much.

I lived in a time that when families gathered, good and bad fortunes were recounted. Those discussions helped frame my direction as an adult, what risks to take, what to avoid and to see things for what they are as opposed to what people would prefer I see.

Of course, much has changed 50 years later and that is why I see no stigma in suicide, since we’re a more complex society than when rules were written on this subject over one thousand years ago. If the lifespan of the time is 30 with disease, starvation and the occasional war keeping the number low, it’s in the kingdom’s interest to exact penalties for those who kill themselves (that’s taxes not paid, soldiers not pressed into service), co-opting the official religion to rain Hell-fire and brimstone upon such souls in the afterlife. People also died quicker! There was also a lot of self-abortion that didn’t go well.

Then came the 20th century and Hitler changed the whole dynamic! The undesirables of the Third Reich died by the millions in the camps, but did you know thousands killed themselves before the Gestapo could nab them? What religion oppressed by Nazis would find that unforgivable?

Today, there is a dirty little secret concerning public health in America. As Trump and Sessions intensify their war on drugs to distract everyone from the house of cards they’ve erected, people who’ve been taking opioids to manage their pain for years are receiving lower doses or are being cut-off. They have not tried to game the system by getting prescriptions from several different doctors, but the government now demands their doctors assume they’ve been supplemented ALL THIS TIME. How much pain can one stand before doing something about it? These are the people who won’t look for black market fentanyl but will turn to their local gun shop for relief.

Are these people evil for doing it? No, but without their stories we do nothing for the people who repeat those stories, be it personal intervention, changing the laws, changing the ones who make them, or some combination thereof.

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