The Fire in the Sky is Extinguished
Blue Waters no Longer Cry
The Dancing of Trees Has Stopped
The Stream of Freshness from Cold Winds
Exists no Longer
– Burzum ‘A Lost Forgotten Sad Spirit’
I’ve always found suicide a very difficult topic to discuss. For many people it seems te be very clear cut and life is the path you should take, always. It all becomes a bit muddled when we bring up euthanasia, people are not sure what to think about this topic. It feels wrong, but seems right and the other way around. I think its beautifull and noble, it’s the choice of saying that you’ve had enough of the cake that is life. Whatever follows is the decay, the ruin and the path towards the inevitable end. I think suicide is every man (and woman’s) right.
Now, two things I would like to say before I continue and people start asking me if I’m alright. I am, I’m fine and enjoying the fruits and challenges life offers me. There have been times when I didn’t like life that much, but I’m a ‘lifer’. Where there’s hope, there’s life for me and vice versa. This term has everything to do with my second point. I don’t think suicidal people are a homogenous group and I’m really talking about a specific form of motivation to find death instead of life. I’m talking about people who are born to live and born to die. It wasn’t a pleasant road to figure and accept that this exists, but I’ve come to accept some people will look for death. Those are not the suicides that look for a resolution, they are already resolved, at peace.
How did I get to discuss this topic? Well, I’ve been listening to black metal. I’ve always been fascinated by this genre and the extreme ideas that cling to it. When studying the genre intensely a year or two ago, I stumbled upon the works of The Shining with vocalist Niklas Kvarforth. Kvarforth used to cut himself open, to maim himself on stage. They were one of the main exponents of the genre Depressed Suicidal Black Metal. I can write you a whole explanation about it here, but this short interview explains a lot. I believe Kvarforth has now changed his ways, he is embracing life again, even doing some sort of stand-up comedy at Devilstone Fest in Lithuania last year.
Now, this genre was one bridge too far for me. It didn’t make sense. It didn’t make sense because why would you do that? Why dwell on that line of suicide, of self harm and mutilation? There’s a fascination to it, a catharsis if you like, in listening to these bands. Sonically it’s usually dense, like a grim and dark forest. It confronts you with that darkness and you can embrace it for a moment, flirt with it. Not everyone just flirts with it though, there are people who embrace death like vocalist Dead of Mayhem. The guy was obsessed with the idea of being an actual corpse, so one day he shot his brain out and left a note: “Sorry for all the blood”. For me the click came when Selim Lemouchi ended his life. I believe that his suicide was a conscious choice, but addled by problems. So it’s not the actual act, but an older interview where he said, with total calm and resolve that he would take his life when he was done, when the creative process was over. It wasn’t taking a pose or bragging, it felt and sounded as real and regular as saying you’re going to have a drink or what you had for breakfast.
People told me to reread the interview I did, that it was already announced in that. I don’t believe that, I believe the man would eventually have killed himself, but after the creative process. When he had said the things he wanted to say. That calm made me realise that not everyone is made to live a life as most do. Some are born to die. They don’t feel sad or angry about it, they are already there in a way. We are not all made to live. History shows us suicide as a way out or an honorable way to deal with situations. Suicide is not a bad thing, it’s a choice for some that is made fully concsious and aware, without regret. That should be any persons right.
That being said, it’s not always this way. There are many causes for suicide that have little to do with a choice. Depression, substance abuse, mental imbalances or trauma are not choices, those are things that happen to you and that you might need a hand with. Those are the ones you can help, those are the ones who stand on bridges and next to railroads hoping for a resolution. They find it in death, but it’s not the resolution they wanted. They are the ones that could have been helped, most people are inevitably: Lifers. People that want to live and enjoy life.
There are others for whom suicide is not an impulse, nor caused by any of these things. There are those who just look forward to the day they die. Learning to accept that might make our lives a lot easier.