A singelton suicide might not have been news in the New York Post. But a jump off the George Washington Bridge, together, by a middle-aged man and woman, did today. Here is that coverage in the NYP.
So, did the suicides of those in the World Trade Towers on 9/11. Knowing there was no way to survive the smoke, then the coming building implosion, workers joined hands and took the leap out high-rise windows. When I was working my way through college on the night shift at the New York Telephone Company, a co-worker and her boyfriend chose to die together in a car by carbon monoxide. Their relationship was an impossible one, given the mores of the time and social conservatism of Jersey City, New Jersey.
Does a companion in self-deliverance take the hard edges off the irreversible decision and the actual activity? Do our mirror neurons resonate with that other person and the two sets confirming that we have made the right decision?
All this is of increasing interest to us Baby Boomers. One by one our relatives, friends and acquaintances are losing the ability to take care of themselves. Sure we feel compassion for them. But we also look ahead to the time when we still have the ability to know we will soon enough be totally dependent. One solution is suicide, which isn't convenient in the U.S. Some of us have discussed going to Switzerland to have the job done right and legally.
At Easter brunch I was running that scenario past college friend Dr. Kathleen Huebner. I added that I would have an escort accompany me "when the time came." Escort? Perhaps what I really knew I needed was a companion in death. Mankind is a social animal. Death should also be social.