Heavy alloys set on descent,
no bumps, nor dent, yet
And without the knowledge,
nobody sat on the edge
Only a few minutes before,
did he try to smash the door
Only a few seconds ago,
made their cries echo
Then the silence—
—the crashing silence.
What’s in the mind of someone who wants to commit suicide?
End life, plain and simple.
But the decision to kill oneself doesn’t come overnight. It may take days or months or years before the fear of pain that results from death is gone — before one is like a log of wood, numbed to the senses. These determined ones may have overcome their pain thresholds by sheer mental prowess. They may have stopped thinking about pain, and have lived a belief that the lifeless aftermath is a beautiful escape.
We have long heard two types of suicide:
1) Those who commit it in the privacy of their room – by hanging, poisoning, etc. – where they may or may not blame others for their voluntary action.
2) Those who commit it in their obsession with an ideology: the suicide bombers brave death’s brutal assault, taking a number of people along with them.
The Germanwings plane crash tells us about a different kind of suicide: one that is voluntary, leading to mass murder (of 149 other souls), and it hasn’t been terrorism.
The co-pilot wanted to destroy the aircraft. He manually changed the autopilot settings – and waited – for the descent. The captain who was locked out of the cockpit kept hitting the door. The co-pilot was relaxed, as the plane descended at 700 kph.
Though I understand he was mentally ill and there rests the case, I’ve been asking myself these questions:
1. Did he think that if he crashed the plane the way he did, the pain of death wouldn’t be as excruciating, and more people would share his experience?
2. Was he ready to die? His peers and others said he was a nice man. The airlines stated he was 100% fit to fly. He also lived with his parents, and ran marathons. But the documents recovered at his apartment included a doctor’s letter, which said he wasn’t fit to work. He loved French Alps.
3. Was that, after all, a painless death? Since the descent was perhaps smooth, no passenger probably thought they had only seconds of life left. It was instantaneous, a beautiful escape into the unknown?