Is killing ever justified…I have thought deep and long…

                                                       …but am still at the start point.

She lay writhing as the waves of pain assaulted and receded. Every night, I buried my head under the pillow, yet heard her moans piercing, like needles through fabric.

Six weeks, Mom had withered and Dad aged.  Mom’s cancer was killing Dad.

One night, a shadow wavered past my opened door. In bare feet and crumpled pajamas, I followed.

It was Dad, in one hand her medicine and in the other, a heavy revolver. I crept silently back to bed, my heart pounding out of my rib cage.

There was a loud crack, followed by soft sobs, then silence. I’ll never forget the acrid smell of cordite that filled the house that night. The note said suicide.

For fifty years, I refused to recount or revisit that tragic event. Today, looking down on the wrinkled face and shriveled body, which lay, gasping away the last breaths of life, I had to know…about that terrible night.

“…the insurance money…we decided…I was the better caregiver…you needed me more,” croaked the voice, before breaking into whizzes and coughs. “That is why…your Dad took his life.”

********** Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2012 **********


  1. I lost my breath for a moment there, until the chills that ran down my spine moved my body back into action!

    Such a strong love for his family, making sure they were provided for. I can clearly see the undecidedness of the question now. That’s a toughie…and may never be truly answered. He did it because of he loved them – he should have stayed because he loved them. It’s a torn debate.

    Very beautiful story

    1. Dear Christine,
      Thank you for visiting, reading, mulling and commenting.
      Perhaps the answer is there but we need to ask the right question…if we only knew.
      All good wishes,

  2. Tough choices but who is to say it is right or wrong. Understanding love and self-sacrifice – only the one experiencing it can truly propels himself to make a choice by his action. Some see it as selfishness while others empathize his plight. Hope that God will have mercy and turn these painful events to make us stronger.

  3. I tear up reading and commenting.
    Though painful… what a self sacrificing show of love. I hope you find peace with this… painful as it is.
    My heart hurts, and is in awe of such unwavering love.

  4. Hello again I was posting on my phone and hit the wrong key!! As I was saying I saw my parents die, years apart, I saw how my mother withered when my father died and went down on fast spiral loosing all spark of life. Finally she had three strokes and lost contact with real world we had to have her put into a home, we as family found her the best we could a place run by Nuns and a happy place. But when I visited with the children she did not really know us, occasionally we would get a tiny spark of recognition only for it to disappear as quickly as it arrived!I selfishly was upset and annoyed at the fact I had travelled so far with three small children on two trains and two long walks , ( double that for return trip too) and she hardly or even did not know us. I did these visit fortnightly and sometimes my husband would take us in the car at weekends. Finally she died and I do hope she is now with my Dad who she truly loved. I and I guess that my brothers and sister do too ,feel guilty that we did not have at home with one of us . But none of us could provide the 24hr care she needed……
    Then again in 2010 I had to watch a very close friend wither away with cancer and die, her last four days , those were the only days she allowed me to be with her , and I was, were terrible , agonizing ….don’t ever tell me that some one “past peacefully ” if they had cancer! Yes I am still angry so forgive me. I cannot take up your space here with my grief but this post of mine may explain a little, do not feel any pressure to read it though. Anyway back to God and assisted suicide I do not profess to have any answers but I do dare to ask God why he lets some people suffer so it is not good, it is not kind, it is not fair.She also left behind a sixteen year old son.
    I am sorry for the rant ……… I came to your blog because you have visited mine a few times and this time you left a comment so I came to have a peek and found this post. I shall subscribe to your blog. I wish you health and happiness and if your post is true I pray you were not too badly affected and that you were not too young when your mother passed. It is so hard to loose your parents or parent at any age but when so young it can be catastrophic and live marring.I pray you have survived well.
    Please for give my out pouring and thank you for your wonderful post.xx

    1. Hello my dear,

      Please forgive me my awkward words below.

      I have seen your blog and you have talent wrought from your deep, no doubt. I shall not tread there. Many have already said that which needs saying. No words I have to remove even one straw.

      Lay your heart to HIM open and raw. It has worked for many and for me, and perhaps we can count you in.
      His peace, I give you,

      P/s I know words are a poor tonic…

  5. Hello Eric I am new to your site. I was saddened deeply by this post the terrible effect that the suffering of a loved one has had on the family as a whole. The tradgic ending of a life, and the guilt of the survivors. It makes me wonder what God is playing at setting such painful situations to test us. I pray this is a work of fiction but I fear it is all too true. I know how hard it is to watch loved ones struggling to die the most recent last year. I have seen exhaustion, pain and fear in both my parents eyes before they died

  6. My heart goes out to you so much. I feel speechless, I can’t even imagine. I am so sorry. I have no words to comfort you, really. Somehow, i feel like nothing we say matters on this one. it’s about what you said. & it is so beautiful to recount it. So painful, & yet, your title says it all…closure. I wish i knew what God is doing, but, all i know is that there’s gotta be more. And I know you are very aware of this & involved, but especially when pain knocks, hold your faith dear, embrace the gift of Mary’s comfort, & know that Jesus is real. I can’t even imagine this. even typing this now, all my words seem so empty.

    You know, to a certain degree, I envy you… To have recounted & revealed your most painful memory to the world, with your name & picture attached… There must be a sort of freedom that comes after that, very few men have ever felt. I envy that. I wish i were as brave as you. I wish for that sort of closure. You are very blessed. And you bless many people all around you. Even on this site, i feel so very blessed to have stumbled upon your page. It’s so inspiring. I’m so in awe of you & your life’s triumph. An incredible witness.

    In my prayers, unwritten truth

    1. @unwrittentruth
      I wrote this reply for you

      To grieve for an unknown is to reveal one’s humanity
      In our daily distractions, we lose opportunities many
      It cools me these poor words touches your humanity
      Carry not this burden, you already have many
      If you witness one bent under, recall your humanity
      Give a thought and remove one straw from many

      Peace be upon us, Eric

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