“Calmly Planned out Suicide”

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“A Police Officer’s life is full of death and what most people would call unusual situations. To remain a Police Officer a person has to learn to deal with the stress and emotional ups and downs.” 

“Calmly Planned out Suicide”

by 

Ralph L. Dettwiler


(Former) Sergeant


Beaufort County Sheriff’s Department


Beaufort, South Carolina

“I worked numerous suicides but one stands out in my mind. I responded and found a woman, from a well-to-do family, in the upstairs bathroom off the master bedroom. As I walked into the small bathroom, I saw a .22 caliber rifle on the floor. The barrel was pointed toward the bathtub which was on my left.

In the tub I found the woman lying on her back, her right arm was dangling out of the tub. She had a small bullet wound to her right temple with powder burns around it. There was a much larger exit wound on the left side of her head. There was blood and flesh all over the wall, tub and her.

The woman was in her late forties or early fifties. I was able to accept her suicide. My years on the streets had hardened me to life and death both. I had become cold to events such as this. If I hadn’t grown cold and pushed my emotions deep inside me I would not have been able to continue my work. The suicides that seemed to bother me were those by teenagers, whom I felt had their whole lives ahead of them. How could anything be bad enough for them to take their own lives?

As I said, in this case I accepted the fact that she had killed herself and calmly went about my business of fitting the case together. We always looked for a suicide note but in the cases I had worked, we very seldom found one. Somehow it made the suicides easier to deal with for me. I formed a picture of a person who had reached the end of his rope and proceeded to end his suffering. However this woman threw me a curve which made it hard for me to fit her suicide into a sterile neat package.

I found her note in the bedroom, just feet from where she now lay dead. In a legal sense it was a suicide note but yet it was much more than that. It was an open letter to her family.

She opened it by saying that she loved all of them and that they should not blame themselves or each other for her death. She said she hoped that they would all get together because of this, she felt that it was important that they all meet as a family. She went on to say that she was sorry that the house was such a mess but she had not gotten around to cleaning it. She stated that she did not want to make things any worse so she would try to keep the mess in the bathtub where it could be cleaned up easier. She wrote that she was sorry she was not stronger and hoped they would understand and forgive her. She said goodbye and told them she loved them and please take care of each other.

That note bothered me. How could someone sit and calmly plan their own death like that? Before I read the note she was just another suicide victim, but after I had read it she became a real person.

In the end the whole incident became another shovel full of dirt thrown on the grave of my emotions. I became colder and harder.

The suicide rate in the Police profession is alarmingly high. One reason I have heard given for this is the stress from the job. I believe that, but I also believe part of it is that day in and day out you live with the realities of life and death until the separation of the two becomes almost nonexistent. Death becomes a sort of relief from the dirt and filth of this life. In order to keep your sanity while working on the streets you beat your emotions down until, whether you noticed it or not, you no longer care about things as you once did. If this could be done in a selective way it would be fine but it can’t, it affects you as a whole. You see the world and life and death through new eyes.

Please pray everyday for our Police Officers. They have a very tough job. We cannot expect them to wallow in the filth of society day in and day out without our full support and our prayers. Who among us is willing to give our lives for people we don’t know or for people who don’t care about us? That is what they are willing to do everyday they put on their uniform and leave home.
A person cannot see pain and death all the time without being touched by it in some way.”

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©Samina Iqbal. 2017

 

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About saminaiqbal27

I am a free lance writer who loves to write on social issues in particular. I am a house wife and my husband Dr. Shams Iqbal offers all the support and encouragement so that I can pursue my passion for authorship and other cause which is dear to me. My lifelong mission in life is to offer my support for the police officers who need to be supported and protected by general public like us. My inspiration to do this comes from my personal experiences of some of the greatest police officers whom I have witnessed do great deeds for the good of humanity. I am so inspired and fascinated to support this law enforcement group. On the other hand I like music, movies specially classics, I am a fashion geek, English and American literature are my passions.
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9 Responses to “Calmly Planned out Suicide”

  1. Michael S. Osborn says:

    Reblogged this on Ozzie's Christian Ministry and commented:
    My nephew is a Police Officer and I constantly pray for the men and women that diligently protect the streets that I walk down.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for sharing my post with your bloggers and friends, it is appreciated. Remembering these special people in our prayers is the least we can all do for them. God bless your nephew and protect him for us and for his family. Take care and God bless. Samina

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ray V. says:

    In all my years in Emergency services and as a funeral director, I think I remember the suicide calls more than any other type. Some were planned out like hers, to contain the “mess” and some were what we used to refer to “F-You suicides”, where the letters and actions were designed to hurt the people left behind in an intentionally cruel way. Noting that it is never easy for those left behind.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for sharing your experience. We need to share these experiences for our education into what goes on in situations that the first responders have to deal with on everyday basis. Your job is not an easy one and your experiences are valuable information. Hats off to you. I agree the situation for the family and friends of the person who has committed suicide is a very difficult one. These human realities are hard to deal with. We can pray for everyone and get informed so that we can appreciate and understand the difficulties of these challenging professions. Take care and God bless. Samina

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Police duty is indeed very challenging. It is travesty that we do not understand the lives of policemen who work 24×7 for us, for the commoners, for the citizens, for the people. Suicides in this profession can be averted by bettering human resources.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I fully agree with you Neeraj, it is indeed one of the most challenging professions. Information and understanding of the profession is the only way we can appreciate the difficulties and challenges the policemen face on a daily basis. I agree more Human Resources are needed for the betterment of the situation. The least we can do is pray for them and when we meet them in everyday life we need to go up to them and tell them how much we appreciate what they are doing. Take care and God bless.

      Liked by 1 person

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