In this post I share the aftermath of a recent death, most likely a suicide, concluding that the permanent solution to a temporary situation simply transfers the pain one is experiencing to others. I try to warn others by explaining that the process of dying is just that – a process. Enjoy!
I shared recently of how a client and friend of mine Declan Curran died recently, and gave him the chance to say what he really wanted. His death most likely came about at his own instigation – taking your own life is called suicide and it is a taboo subject in most cultures. I derive this former conclusion from the feedback that “the matter has been referred to the Coroner” and that “there are no suspicious circumstances”. This is the Cops’ code used to say, “suicide” without actually saying it and it has not been argued by anyone in all my conversations.
Suicide is definitely a tricky subject to deal with and I of all people know this, having established, spearheaded and developed from 1999 onwards under the auspices of The Life Information Charitable Trust, what was at the time the world’s leading ‘life-related’ online resource – Suicide, Abortion & Euthanasia were the three hot topics. I don’t think anything I’ve been involved in raised the ire of the ‘enemy’ as much as this one did.
Even the endemic Corruption of Samoa, crooked cops or New Zealand’s legal and judicial system doesn’t have a bar of the heat we all suffered as a result of tackling these three topics. Catholic support was amazing (they really are the bees knees in social justice issues), the Carmelites being lovingly supportive in prayer and the notable ‘rich’ Catholics who chipped in to fund anything that would save a woman with an unplanned pregnancy from having an abortion.
Declan’s suicide was no surprise to me, and I believe was a long-term planned event. The facts are that Declan did not share a Christian faith with me thus he will probably be going ‘down’ not ‘up’ (if you know what I mean) and therefore he did not appreciate life (nor have the same hope) as I do. I spent a lot of time with him – in fact hundreds of hours over the last year or so – as we worked to get his research into the Malaysian Airliner events of MH370 & MH17 into a coherent form.
Declan expressed his take on living quite poignantly a couple of weeks ago when he quoted the words of another as the best representation of how he felt. “I sick and tired of being so sick and tired!” He specifically talked of his being saved from drowning at the age of 10 and how it may have been better if he hadn’t been saved. I heard this as a cry of pain and I knew of his pain having heard this more than once from him over the last year or so.
Declan was definitely different. He struggled with back, arthiritis, bi-polar and the usual immune issues as a result of the COVID-19 vaccine to name some of what I knew. All I could do was to relieve the pressure he felt as much as I could and share my own hope and explanation of the presence of evil. This is all friends can do is it not when they can do no more for a dying or ‘dead’ man? I did what I could for him of course and my call for a welfare check by the Police came too late.
The general thought is that suicide is wrong, most likely as a result of the core Catholic teaching that suicide is a sin. I think that suicide represents a lack of faith indeed, but that this is the issue, the lack of faith, not so much the presence of an evil act – causing death.
My assessment is that my mate knew his time was up. He had told me previously that he knew that my contacting him in May of 2021 was divinely inspired. He also told me that his job was done here on earth with his research now being at a point that he knew that I would get it (his work) out there. This latter knowledge came about from my commercial assessment that he’d completed enough for me to continue the project. Putting this simply and into personal terms, I’d taken away the backstop that kept him keeping on, so he felt he was now free to ‘top himself’ with the project having been passed on to a pair of safe hands.
So if a man is under health stresses and if he had done decades at this life thing previously what was the actual trigger? It really seems minor now, and only the attending officer will know this if Declan left any note of how he was feeling at the time, but it seems to me that as one goes down, and depression or the spirit of death takes over a man, things go awry in more than one way.
Like with the power that a witchdoctor has by pointing the bone at an individual who goes away, with social ostracism and a guilty conscience, to just wither up and die, so too can one event, be it unforgiveness, or arrogance or whatever bring about death.
I think it is unrealistic to view the words or actions of a dying man in a logical manner as if he has his mind all together until the last moment. The best way that I can show what I mean here is to go through the last few days and weeks of Declan’s life as I knew it, so as you can see how things developed, from my perspective.
I met Declan online (we never met in person) in mid 2021. He had just done an interview with a high profile American conspiracy researcher and I listened to it. He made comment that he had not yet found a publisher that would take the subject on – “old news, the public had moved on from the MH370 story” sort of thing.
We connected and I undertook to take his script to the point of publishing. My company Writing the Wrong Ltd contracted to do work for him and did it. The relationship developed quite healthily for over a year until the beginning of August 2022. At that point I noticed a major drop-off in Declan’s capacity to produce. His diagnosis of COVID-19 in early August 2022 and flu-like symptoms which he displayed remained until his death, although there was a respite in the last day or two as his anti=biotics kicked in.
Most notable, and something we talked about at length was his inability to retain learning and his reduced capacity to deal with new ideas or information. We ascribed this to his illness at the time and in retrospect I think this was accurate.
His worst hour seems to have been two weeks out of his date of death, smack in the middle of his illness. Six days before, he flipped over a minor matter and dumped his frustrations on me. A day or so later he recanted from all the negativity and he tried to explain it all away as just his depression kicking in. My take is that he could not understand what was happening as he went down but he knew himself that things were not right.
A couple of days prior to his death he made his usual morning call and this was a different Declan. He really did not want to talk and apologised for not doing what he said he would. Again a day out and the same thing – he made the morning call but didn’t want to speak, promising something that he knew he would not deliver on as he knew what he was about to do.
It seems to me that he knew in his heart of hearts that his time was coming a month or so out (perhaps even longer up to many months prior) and that the determination to terminate his own life came a couple of days out from the event.
My point here is that Declan’s suicide was not so much avoidable but it was to trigger a sequence of events that caused others pain. Most people aim to prevent suicide, but that is not my intent. What I seek to do here is to expose the costs to those around us.
First is the trauma of those tasked with dealing with the aftermath. It is not nice to deal with stuff that really isn’t right. Something is wrong when you have to deal with death – putting others into the ground isn’t easy for anyone.
Next are the unfinished matters that are left. In Declan’s case this was fairly straight-forward but there were still matters that really should have been sorted. His online presence for example needs to be updated. His Next of Kin hasn’t done this a couple of weeks down the track. Sure there are only 30 friends on his Facebook page but this is a loose end nonetheless.
My research found that Dil’s did the service and cremated his body. Dave Wells (DWI643) from Auckland City was the attending officer and his sister Joanne Curran is his NOK. Any will should be probated but this takes months to do even if there was one.
Declan probably felt that he’d done the needful but there were still holes, all perfectly fill-able though if he’d had his wits about him.
And this is the biggest take home for me, when a man is going down it is a process . . . one that leads to an event, sure, but the degradation of the body and mind is something that takes time. So many times I see others who once had a good strong body, faith that could move mountains, money coming out their ears, social influence to die for and minds that could save the world given half a chance but that process has kicked in and the downwards spiral has commenced.
In case you think that I’ve missed the role of the heart in all of this, it’s omission here is deliberate. Having hatred in our heart is for another day!
My mate has gone. Fortunately his NOK’s refusal to support her dead brother’s wishes to share the remainder of his research with me hasn’t stopped me getting his work out there but it is a missed opportunity nonetheless.