Monday, February 14, 2011

Bill Zeller's Last Words

Trigger Warnings: Suicide, Sexual Abuse

I've just read The Agonizing Last Words of Programmer Bill Zeller.  For anyone who doesn't want to click through, this is apparently the suicide note that he left when he took his own life earlier this year.  In this note, he describes the horrific sexual abuse he suffered as a child and the darkness within him that resulted, a darkness which controlled his life and took away his ability to engage in a range of everyday human behaviours from using the bathroom normally to having a healthy romantic relationship.  He was afraid that he was becoming a danger to other people, and he felt damaged and dirty.

People have often called suicide a selfish, egotistical thing to do—the coward's way out.  But I can't help but think that if he felt that this darkness was becoming a threat to other people, and if he believed that killing himself was the only way he could save other people from it, then perhaps it was truly a noble thing—even considering the possibility that he was wrong about the danger that he might pose.

Whatever the case, I hope that in death Zeller has found a greater peace than he ever found in life.

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