A Hard Choice

Not Yours To Take (Written December 18, 2017)

Sometimes it feels like the world doesn’t care,
Like you are on your own and no one else is there.
And it’s hard, I know, sometimes to carry on,
To feel any purpose, to desire a new dawn.
And those voices in your head are the worst thing of all,
Worse than the critics and harsh stares that make you feel so small,
Because those are your own words which you level at yourself,
And you know your own failings far better than anyone else.
What can you do when you feel you’ve truly failed,
When you’ve given up the hope that something better will prevail?

I can’t say I know, really, what might help you through that day.
What might clear your doubts and worries I really couldn’t say.
But, you know, there is one thing I know I can say for sure:
Even if it’s hard to stay I hope you’ll still endure
‘Cause life isn’t a gift you gave to yourself,
And it’s not just from your parents or anyone else.
No, life is a gift that God alone can give.
So what gives us the right to choose when not to live?
No, that isn’t a choice we have the right to make-
But we always have the choice to live for our own sake.

It isn’t about recognition from anyone else around,
And worldly things were never where a happy life was found.
Whatever sort of life you have, however hard it gets,
Whatever cross you come to bear, what sorrows or regrets,
You still have a choice and you always will
Despite how bad your life might be, to be happy even still.
And that is a choice that is only yours to make,
Not something any circumstance or hardship can ever really take.
You never have the right to choose to be or not to be
But only the choice to screw everything else and, regardless, be happy.


If you have been following this blog closely for a while then you might recall that I am very fond of a Korean group called SHINee. You might recall that their passion was something I greatly admired. And if you follow any kpop news you probably also know that their lead singer Jonghyun committed suicide yesterday.

Obviously this is tragic. A life is lost. A person felt so thoroughly cornered that he felt the only way out was to kill himself. It is extremely tragic that he felt this way.


This is not the only celebrity suicide that has shaken the music community, nor will it be the last. The community is busy paying final respects to their friend and colleague, their brother who has left them- and of course they are, he was a good man and he deserves to have his achievements acknowledged as people look back on his now ended life.


Have you noticed anything odd? Yes, of course people are very careful about how they speak of the dead. That is the respect the dead deserve. And yes, from this we certainly must learn the importance of taking care of our own mental health, and to look out for others.


Why is it we dance around the word suicide? We pay such detailed rememberance to a parted friend, and praise him, and empathize so heartily with the pain he was suffering. And well we should.


We somehow manage to never say something very, very important. Suicide is not the answer. It is never the answer. It is absolutely tragic when anybody feels so despairing that they decide life is no longer worth living. We say that. We all agree that that is a tragedy. Meaning that we all agree that a person ending their own life is a bad thing. So how can we go and turn around to sat that suicide was a good choice? What does it mean when we excuse or praise somebody’s choice to end their own life? How can we tell people to make sure they get help, to keep up the fight… and also say that the person who quit the fight did the right thing? How do you think that sounds to all those many people who are facing similar struggles? You just completely devalued their fight. You said that it was the right choice to give up that fight. You can’t say that. That isn’t right, it isn’t fair.
It is heartbreaking that we have lost a good man, a beloved family member and colleague, a star whom many of us admired and idolized. I can’t begin to express how badly my heart is broken right now. SHINee was my first kpop group. They were what inspired me to start taking proper care of myself. They were what taught me to really believe I can be better, to really aspire to be great. Jonghyun was always a person I felt I could empathize with, someone who put to words the feelings and thoughts I could never get out of my head. I admired him. The world is dark and sad and a little emptier for his passing, and my heart just really can’t handle that thought.


We can’t say he made the right choice. We can’t say that. The choice he faced was such a hard one to make, but we can’t say that means he chose right. That isn’t fair to him and the life ahead he could have lived, it isn’t fair to others who are facing similar struggles, it isn’t fair to the people who knew and loved him. We just can’t.

We must mourn the fact that he never found the right answer, and we must pray that he had time, in the end, to realize his answer was wrong.


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