And you know what? That’s ok. I’m not here to judge.

Living with paralysis is probably one of the hardest things any human being can endure. So if Daniel James, a British rugby player, wanted to commit suicide because he couldn’t deal with it, it’s totally his perogitive.

Last week this entire story came to light. It made (and still makes) my heart break. I’m not sad because he commited suicide. I’m not even sad because he felt hopeless. I’m sad because he was in this situation in the first place. Why hasn’t a cure for paralysis been found yet?? If we can put rovers on Mars, put men on the Moon, and clone sheep, why in the FUCK can’t we heal tiny areas of spinal cords that have been torn, nicked, or bruised?

I honor the memory of Daniel James. I know his pain all too well. This life never gets easier. It all boils down to how much you want to live, and what makes life for YOU worth living.

Question of the day: How much do you love life?

For me, family, friends, love, good food, music, movies, traveling and seeing the world (even from a wheelchair) make my life worthwhile. I’m not ready to call it quits, but then again I wasn’t a hugely talented rugby player on the brink of hitting the big time before my injury. That’s a lot to lose.

RIP Daniel James. I honestly don’t blame you.

– Tiff

Written by Tiff

    10 Comments

  1. Krystina October 27, 2008 at 6:02 pm Reply

    I am happy he won’t have to endure the agony, dispair, humiliation and hopelessness that can be a life long terrorist to those of us with paralysis…ending it all does at time feel very enticing..BUT you really have to think about why your living..youre right Tiff wheres the F*King cure alReady!!!

  2. Tiffiny October 27, 2008 at 7:35 pm Reply

    “a life long terrorist.” nicely said, k!

  3. JP October 28, 2008 at 7:28 am Reply

    No, it’s not easy to live the way we have to live. But suicide? He took the easy way out. If his life was so shallow that his ability to run around on a field playing glorified kickball with a bunch of other guys was the only thing he had going for him, he had bigger problems than paralysis.

    Paralysis took away:
    -my ability to walk
    -my ability to go to the bathroom normally
    -my ability to get dressed quickly
    -my ability to climb stairs.

    But SO WHAT?! It did not take away:
    -my ability to love
    -my ability to be loved
    -my ability to be the best son, brother, husband, father, and friend I can be
    -my ability to make a living
    -my ability to be a productive member of society
    -my ability to laugh
    -my ability to enjoy life, whatever it brings.

    I’ll say a prayer for him and his family, but I’ll not claim to understand how he felt. He didn’t give a full consideration to the many things – very important, fulfilling things – that he COULD do; but instead focused on the less-important things that he could NOT do. If any able-bodied person did that, they’d probably want to end it all, too.

  4. Tiffiny October 28, 2008 at 9:26 am Reply

    JP, thanks for posting.

    everyone’s experience with paralysis is going to be different. you may not understand how he felt, but i think for you saying he didn’t take “full consideration of many things” is not for you to say.

    there’s no way you can know what he considered, or went through his mind before he went to that clinic.

    if someone wants to die, in my opinion, its their perogitive. but then again i’m pro-death, meaning if someone, ANYONE wants to die, i think they have every right too. he got what he wanted, and for that i’m happy.

    paralysis is hell no matter how you spin it. and it appears rugby was his passion. don’t knock it.

  5. Jon October 28, 2008 at 4:22 pm Reply

    I’m glad you’ve realized some of the great anomalies of modern life. I fully expect your next post will be an update of what you’ve done so far in your efforts to cure paralysis. I look forward to it.

  6. Tiffiny October 28, 2008 at 9:26 pm Reply

    Jon, I think I’ll leave finding a cure to the experts.

  7. Kelly Naowski November 1, 2008 at 4:54 pm Reply

    Tiff, I 100% agree with you. I believe in anyone’s right to die if they want to and I certainly don’t judge someone that chooses that, especially not someone who’s become paralyzed, it is after all a living hell. I have heard more than once(not sure if it’s true or not because I didn’t hear it from a scientific source- but it makes sense) that the #1 cause of death amongst people with SCI is suicide.

    I get more upset when I hear someone suffered a spinal cord injury than I do when I hear someone died a normal death. I hate to hear when people endure SCI.

  8. Tiffiny November 2, 2008 at 3:27 pm Reply

    *waves at kell*

    🙂

    nicely said.

  9. Joey November 5, 2008 at 4:14 pm Reply

    After I read this on your blog, I looked around at others who had written about this story on the Internet. Without fail, everyone is sympathetic towards this guy and his parents. I don’t see why. This guy committed suicide with the help of his parents. Not euthanasia, suicide.

    He wasn’t sick, he wasn’t going to die, he simply had a disability. I’ve known people who have committed suicide, and it causes a lot of pain for everyone that person has touched during their lifetime. Suicide is one of the most selfish things a person could do.

    I know having a SCI sucks. But if life didn’t have a little suckiness, it would get boring. I don’t see why you can’t have an SCI and still appreciate life.

  10. Tiffiny November 5, 2008 at 7:05 pm Reply

    joey, i never said if you have a SCI you can’t still appreciate life. i personally still think you definitely can. but how can i say others with SCI who think differently are wrong? thats not for me, or you, to say.

    also, i think a lot of people w/ SCI wrongly take stories like this as an almost, personal attack, on their own decision to still appreciater life. just because daniel killed himself doesnt take away your or my own personal value.

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