Friday, June 1, 2012

Kill Your Child... Commit Suicide? It Has Happened Again....

I've never considered killing my child. But, I did consider committing suicide - many times. In fact, when my third daughter was stricken with cancer at the age of one and one half years old, I prayed to god to kill me and heal her. 

I would have traded my life for her health in a moment.

Alas, some prayers are not answered.

There are a very many parents with handicapped or extremely ill children. I think it might be natural that these parents want to kill themselves; I can't imagine that the thought of killing themselves never crosses their mind. Like I said, I've never considered killing my child, but killing myself if it could possibly make things better? Of course... In a flash.

Once again, in Japan, another parent of a handicapped darling child, innocent to the world, has killed their child and attempted suicide. The murder of the child was, unfortunately successful. The suicide attempt was a failure.

Japan Today reports in Man attempts suicide after apparently hanging disabled daughter in public restroom:

Police said Monday that a man was found bleeding from his abdomen and his daughter hanged in a public restroom in Fujisawa, Kanagawa Prefecture.

According to police, the 54-year-old man, who has been named as Ikuro Kenmochi, was seriously injured and his disabled daughter, 9-year-old Saki, was dead when they were discovered in the restroom in Oba Castle Park shortly after 11 a.m. Sunday, Fuji TV reported.

Police believe Kenmochi attempted to commit suicide by cutting open his abdomen after hanging his daughter. Investigators said that Kenmochi sent an email to his wife shortly before the incident in which he told her he was worried about their daughter’s future, Fuji reported.

As always, with this sort of thing, many people have their opinions. Unfortunately, as with most things, judging from the comments section of the original article, the average opinion is benighted, to say the least.

I am greatly saddened for the child and the family. I feel for their pain and suffering. Of course, I don't know exactly what they went through, but I know what it is like to have to face the guilt that I might be responsible for ruining someones life and the fear for that poor, innocent person's future. I know what raising a handicapped child involves.

The comment section of this article, though, is filled with the usual noise and foolish inexperience of people who would do much better to keep their ignorant comments to themselves. 

The typical response was something like this:

"Poor child. Instead of caring about her, he was only thinking about himself."

Astounding. Yeah. For one, we don't know what went on with this child and the handicap. But we do know that the father and the child's mother cared for her for nearly ten years. We also do not know the condition of neither father and mother. As if those who would criticize the father would know about the guilt and suffering this man felt and the difficulty this child and the family went through over this last nearly decade.

Who can judge if this man hadn't gone insane or was at the end of his tether? 

Though there was, though, one intelligent comment... I could tell by this comment that the person who wrote it has experienced first-hand something like the tragedy of a handicapped loved one. They wrote:

"Poor child. Instead of caring about her, he was only thinking about himself."?...

That's a pretty bold statement from somebody who (I assume) knew neither the man or the girl in question. There's a saying about walking a mile in someones shoes before criticising them....

Yes. Walk a mile in a man's shoes. 

Wendy Rogers at 14... Now she's 18-years-old

We all need to consider this wise old statement (me too!) more before we criticize people.... Especially when it comes to pain and human suffering.

I've written about my own experiences here:

I hope that you and your loved ones never have to go through this. I pray that I don't have to again. To tell the truth, I don't know how I survived the first time...

At Narita Temple on 05/05/12

I'm glad I did. My daughter and I spent a wonderful day at Narita Temple a few weeks ago.

Finally, in my daily notes (Please refer to: How I Became a Kind and Patient Father and You Can Too!), here is one of the top 5 things I write everyday:

"Thank you God for all the wonderful things I have and am about to receive."

You folks have a wonderful day. And thank God for the wonderful things you have... For many of us do not realize just how good we have it right now.


Marion said...

Been following you for years, Mike...was not aware. You truly are someone special and for that reason, God entrusted her to you!

Andrew Joseph said...

Hey Mike. Good blog.
You are correct about walking a mile in another man's shoes. I've not thought about killing myself, but my wife prior to meeting her attempted it twice. Mental illness was there. Is there.
But, I hear about a parent killing their handicapped child often enough. It is a contentious issue to be sure. How severe is the handicap? After the parents die who will look after the child? Will the child/adult be able to look after themselves?
My neighbors at the back of my house had an only son. He was trying to get into school to become a dentist. He didn't. He snapped. He became a blathering idiot. I was 8 years old (39 years ago) when my parents moved into this house... that man had already become 'simple'. He was never able to work a day in his life. He sat at a street corner and smoked.
His parents were always fearful that he would set fire to their house. they won't have to worry about that now. First the mother died a few years ago, and then three months ago, the father did. The house went up for sale and new people moved in. What happened to the son (now in his late 50s? Institutionalized? Probably. He never spoke. he was always grinning. Never wore a coat in the freezing Toronto winter.
Now... his parents never tried to kill him... and his mental handicap was not from birth. He was a smart man, who simply could not handle failure.
His parents knew that when they died, their son was going to be 'sent away' for his own safety.
All parents worry about the future of their own kids. Some handle it differently from others.
We were 41 when we had our one and only son. So many things could have gone wrong thanks to our age when he was being formed. So many things. We had so many tests... but what if we found out he was going to be a special-needs kid? It's not ego to say I could have handled it? But... would it be fair to bring someone like that into a world where even the able-bodied and able-minded struggle to make ends meet, to survive. What quality of life is that? Would we have aborted?
Ah... but the rub is, that it is life, and who am I to make such decisions. The parent, of course... the parent who knows his or her own limitations.
I'm not defending the man who killed his daughter in your article. But... I can also sympathize with him. His pain. His anguish.
How does anyone know how they would react unless they do indeed walk a mile in his shoes.
Always nice to see photos of your family Mike. Glad God didn't listen to you. Glad you have a bright and warm daughter.
Not sure what my point is, except that I agree with you.

Anonymous said...

SHIT! That's some heavy assed stuff. Thanks for sharing. Best of all world's to all of you!

Marc Sheffner said...

I have a handicapped daughter. I've taken her to hospitals and institutions where I see ordinary, frail Japanese women do absolutely heroic things. Like pick up their jerking, flailing 15-year-old offspring and carry him bodily from car to hospital building and carefully install him in a wheelchair, wipe the drool from his mouth, tuck him in, and all the while chatting and joking with similarly burdened mothers and nursing staff. An hour or so later they do the same routine in reverse. How many days a week?

Imagine them doing this day in day out. For 10, 15, 20, 30 years. Some have not one, but two handicapped children. What are the odds?

I don't think I could do what they do with the same fortitude. My daughter is mentally retarded, but her handicap is a walk in the park compared to some of the things I've seen.

I know some parents get sick and die. Some get divorced (the husband just up and quits when he discovers his wife gave birth to a "defective" child). Many are burned out. No vacations. Some complain and whine constantly, begging for sympathy at every encounter. It's wearying but it's hard to blame them. Many struggle manfully on, but for some, it's just too much.

Can you imagine the anguish of the parent who contemplates murder/suicide? Anyone who thinks it's "an easy way out" or "just selfish" hasn't really tried to imagine themselves in that position. "What if I die but my handicapped child survives?" Does anyone think those contemplating it don't think about that possibility? Have that gnawing away at them, as they consider the various options?

Those who have warm, supporting extended families or communities are fortunate. Not everyone does. May God rest their souls.

Raindance Film Festival: Confessions of a Sandwich Sign Man

I was hoping my parents never found out about this... But I can't live like this anymore; I can't live with hiding who I really am....