Reddington on Suicide

Despite being the Concierge of Crime, Raymond Reddington’s insights into everyday life continually intrigue me. While rewatching The Blacklist, I was reminded of his harrowing observation about suicide. He seeks to talk a woman out of the act and tells her this truth about all suicides being like suicide bombings for all those left behind:

“Ever seen the aftermath of a suicide bombing? I have. June 29th, 2003. I was meeing two associates at the Marouche restaurant in Tel Aviv. As my car was pulling up, a 20-year-old Palestinian named Ghazi Safar entered the restaurant and detonated a vest wired with C4. The shockwave knocked me flat, blew out my eardrums. I couldn’t hear. The smoke—it was like being underwater. I went inside. A nightmare. Blood, parts of people. You could tell where Safar was standing when the vest blew. It was like a perfect circle of death. There was almost nothing left of the people closest to him. Seventeen dead, 46 injured. Blown to pieces. The closer they were to the bomber, the more horrific the effect. That’s every suicide. Every single one. An act of terror perpetrated against everyone who’s ever known you. Everyone who’s ever loved you. The people closest to you, the ones who cherish you are the ones who suffer the most pain, the most damage. Why would you do that? Why would you do that to people who love you?”

This is how remembering and ruminating on our obligations to love can save our own lives from ourselves when we allow ourselves to become consumed by our anguish and darkness. The love of others is a grace to pull us out of the bottomless pit of ourselves. It may sound cruel in the ears of someone under the spell of suicidal despair, but saving truth is rarely pleasant and pain-free.

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