Suicide is invariably premature…
This is proven by the story of one of the architects of The BRITISH EMPIRE.
A Shropshire lad who grew up to become 'CLIVE OF INDIA'. Don't worry it's not a silly bit of flag waving jingoism, but
the story of a failed suicide that in many ways changed The World.
Robert Clive was born in Shropshire in 1725. By his late teens he was
running his own protection racket. His father responded by having him sent to India to work as a clerk for the East India
Shortly after arriving in India, very deeply in debt following a prolonged
voyage, Robert Clive attempted suicide. He placed a loaded pistol to his head, pulled the trigger and - nothing!
It is said that he did this more than once. Each time nothing happened. He pointed the firearm away from himself,
pulled the trigger and it fired. Clive believed this to be a sign that he was destined for greatness.
In 1751 with the rank of Captain he was granted permission to carry out
a plan for the capture of an enemy capitol, which he did. He and his tiny force of just over 200 men were then besieged in
that city from SEPT23-NOV14 by an attacking army some 10,000 strong - complete with armoured elephants.
His forces held and upon being reinforced were able to go onto the attack.
He returned home a wealthy man in 1753, marrying Margaret Maskeylne and
living in a fine London House, presumably with servants and all the trappings of wealth.
In 1756, following the Black Hole of Calcutta incident it was CLIVE OF
INDIA who commanded the forces sent to crush the rebels; and on June23 1757, he defeated the rebel army at the battle of Plassey.
As a reward he was proclaimed Governor of Bengal.
Returning from India, Clive was a national hero. He went on to become Member
of Parliament for Shrewsbury (1760-1764), later serving as Mayor Of Shrewsbury. In 1762 he was made a Baron and granted an
Irish peerage. He had accumulated great wealth, power and prestige. Believed by many to be a future Prime Minister, and first
Lord of the Treasury (Not bad for a petty protection racketeer) Then he took his own life...
The man who single handedly had won control of India for Britain and
established The British Empire for the next (bloody) 150 years lies in an unmarked grave. Or, given the age in which he lived,
he could have been buried at some crossroads with a stake driven through his heart.
If Robert Clive's pistol had worked back in 1744. He would have died
a penniless clerk with large gambling debts.
It didn't work, and for the next few decades he became a General. Imperial
Statesman and Politician. To say nothing of the personal joys and pleasures that his wealth and the love of a good partner
can bring - apparently - Robert Clive did well by not committing suicide that day. But it does make me wonder what else he
could have achieved if he hadn't actually committed suicide at all. .
I have included Clive's story to underline the message that suicide is
(not only) irreversible, but almost always premature. Consider, Shakespeare's greatest tragedy: Romeo and Juliet.
Believing Juliet to be already dead, Romeo took his own life. Upon recovery
Juliet discovered that Romeo was already dead, and so took her own life. If Romeo had not been so impulsive, he and Juliet
could have had a beautiful future together (or failing that, got married) and Shakespeare would have had a rubbish play.
The point that suicide is invariably
premature is extremely well demonstrated by the story of a 46-year-old ex-miner from Sunderland, who made seven
attempts to end it all in the space of three months in 1994 after his wife left him.
Having survived three drug overdoses,
he wound an electric wire round his body, got into the bath and plugged himself into the mains. The fuse blew and he suffered
a mild electric shock. He then used the same lenth of wire to tie a hangman's noose around his neck, but the wire snapped
and he fell, very much alive, to the floor.
For his sixth attempt, he broke
a gas pipe in his bedroom and lay next to it. When this didn't kill him, he lit a match. The explosion blew away the gable
end of his semi-detached house, along with his windows and part of the roof. He was pulled alive from the wreckage with nothing
worse than flash burns.
A year later he was a considerably
more cheerful man and was back on speaking terms with his wife.
of people survive a suicidal crisis and go on to find happiness