I Kind of Want to Die

Last week I went for a walk with a friend. We’re old friends and have gone in and out of seeing each other for the past thirty years. As we walked through the arboretum talking about all of the hard, sad things in this world right now I said something I would only say to a longtime friend.

“I kind of want to die,” I said to her. I am not suicidal at all and feel grateful that I don’t have any acute mental health concerns right now but I look with envy at my ninety-three-year-old stepfather sometimes. He’ll surely die before this world becomes truly unlivable.

“Me too!” my friend exclaimed, “I totally get where you’re coming from. We’ve lived a good, long life and we could be done.”

A few days later I was talking to another close friend. As always the conversation turned to the lamentations of our upside-down society and tortured planet. “Sometimes I really just want to die,” I said to her.

“I’ve felt that way,” my friend said, “last month when I was camping and I imagined having to pack up all the gear and all the food I thought to myself, ‘if I died now I wouldn’t have to do this.’” She continued, “Really, I would be okay dying now.”

She told me that her husband never feels this way but she knows that another friend we share does.

When I got home last night I told my partner about these conversations. “I’ve felt that way,” she said, “I understand how you feel.”

I deliberated a lot before I started to write about this “I kind of want to die” attitude. But hearing my friends and learning of this shared experience of feeling the “I kind of want to die” bolstered my confidence to write about it.

I am a mother and a wife. I have a large extended family and a huge community of people I love and care about. But some days, even on days when I am not aware of the ins and out of the news, the bad outweighs the good.