Dec 102012

By now, unless you’ve been hiding out on the dark side of the Moon dear reader, you’ll have heard or read about the suspected suicide of one Jacintha Saldanha, a nurse at King Edward VII hospital in London. In case you HAVE indeed been on the other side of the Moon, here’s a link so you can be up-to-date.

From the outset, I will state this clearly and concisely. Neither Mel Greig or Michael Christian killed nurse Jacintha Saldanha. Nor did they contribute to her death in any way, shape or form. Suicide is unique in that way. From the Latin suicidium, from sui caedere, “to kill oneself”, which by definition disallows any other individual’s involvement in the act. Yes, it’s terrible when a life is cut short of it’s time. It is especially distressing to those left behind – friends and family. Suicide is also a marker of deeper psychoses within the mind of the deceased. That something deeply troubled the individual to the extent that an overwhelming desire to escape from trauma and mental anguish should result in a troubled mind finding no other avenue for release than death as the ultimate means of escape.

I find it darkly amusing that British media should be making such a to-do over this issue, when we all know the turmoil British media is currently undergoing as a result of the Leveson Inquiry findings. One would presume Fleet Street would not be wanting to be finger pointing so soon after being sprung for it’s own Waterloo. I also find it a genuine travesty that management at the King Edward VII hospital should immediately seek to lay blame for the nurses demise on the antics of a pair of radio presenters half-way around the world, who enacted the worst possible upper-class British accents imaginable in their prank call, play-acting the Queen, Prince Phillip and a barking corgi. I’ve heard the ‘gotcha’call and it’s transparent for what it is. That the woman on the other end gives no inkling that the call is a farce is, in my view, quite remarkable. Perhaps she did, perhaps she didn’t. We may never know. As for Jacintha Saldanha, who apparently put the call through to the ward where Katherine Middleton was ensconced, recovering from dehydration brought on by morning sickness, again, I can only suppose that her mindset was anything but stable if the rabbiting of a few journalists hacks is enough to tip her over the edge into her own personal purgatory.

There is no blame to be laid, on anyone. There can be no sense of responsibility weighed on Mel Greig or Michael Christian. There can be no aspersions cast against the Australian, or for that matter, British cultures. The former for it’s irreverence and amusement at such stunts and the latter for it’s famed stiff-upper-lip protection of all things Royal and a general disdain for inhabitants of the antipodes. All par for the course in my view. No-one and nothing can be held as responsible for the decisions, however erratic, taken by any individual at any time regardless of their circumstances. We are all responsible for our own destinies. We all must live under our own Damoclean Swords. Depression is a particularly sharp and stealthy weapon which can fall on any of us at any time in its own particular and unique manner. We are responsible for recognising its presence and only we can be the ones to ask for help in holding it’s scythe away.

Whatever set of circumstances combined to tip Jacintha Saldanha into her own abyss, those were her own circumstances, of her own concoction within her own mind. In there, we are all masters and all slaves. We can choose to either take the orders, or give them, but the ultimate choice is ours. No-one else’s.

If you were one of those in the so-called social media frenzy over the weekend, calling for the blood of Mel Greig & Michael Christian or whomever else you felt ought to be held responsible for someone else’s untimely demise, I can only hope that you never have to stare into your own personal forever vortex. It’s a dark and frightening place, yet one that is so damned attractive when the timing is right. Unless you’ve been forced by yourself to stare, you cannot possibly understand, so don’t accuse others when you clearly don’t understand yourself.