When I saw that a woman, a mother of 7, was missing for a few days, I raised an eyebrow and was kind of worried. I knew they’d find her in the end, and I knew she wouldn’t be alive when they found her.
I also was about 90% sure that she’d committed suicide.
Simple. People go missing in Israel for three main reasons:
- Terror attack – in which case we usually know that there was a terrorist involved and that they were kidnapped. Here, the article made no mention of hitchhiking, terror, or anything related. Also, there wasn’t a terror attack near her when she disappeared.
- Kidnapping – this usually happens when the person is a minor and was kidnapped by a psycho family member. Sometimes it’s a psycho friend, but that’s even rarer than the family member. She wasn’t a minor, so this wasn’t a kidnapping.
- Suicide- someone, usually an adult, disappears mysteriously, after a longstanding estrangement or after a history of mental illness (LGBT counts as mental illness, too).
- (Really, 3a.) Once in a while someone gets lost while on a hike, after refusing to take a cell phone, not taking a hat, and not bringing enough water. Or maybe he walked into a dangerous area. I’m never sure if these people should be awarded Darwin awards for their stupidity, or if they wanted to commit suicide in a less obvious fashion.
Since numbers 1 and 2 were obviously *not* the reason this woman (who I later realized was named Esti Weinstein; at first I just looked at her picture without reading – you know, because that’s what good citizens do) disappeared . . . it was clear to me that she’d committed suicide.
Unfortunately, as is the case in most of these kinds of things, I was right.
Let’s leave aside the issue of blame for a minute. It really doesn’t matter if the community is to blame, if her family is to blame, or if she suffered from her own decisions. There’s something that needs to be pointed out here:
This woman had a mental illness. She had a history of suicide attempts. And she was, in three words, a tortured soul.
I don’t know who suffered more – her, or her family. I know that her personal suffering has ended, and I think that is a good thing. She is at peace, finally.
And I don’t think we should be judging anything, or anyone, except ourselves.
Every community shuns those who don’t live up to its standards. EVERY community.
If we don’t want to see any more suicides, we need to learn to identify the warning signs, and how to wrap every member of our communities – even if they break some of the rules – in a blanket of love.
Suicides happen in every community. And anyone who says otherwise is playing Ostrich, and should join Obama Bin Laden, king of Ostrich, in his white cave.