Apr 3, 2012

Why Did Charles Snelling Kill His Wife and Himself?

From every account I read Charles Snelling was a good and successful man. He was a good husband and father.

Alzheimer's Reading Room

Since we published Man Kills Wife Suffering with Alzheimer's and then Kills Himself , and Right to Die?, I have been wondering why Charles Snelling decided to kills his wife who was living with dementia, and then kill himself? Why?

After 61 years of marriage to his wife, Adrienne Snelling, and six years of caring for her he decided to end it all, abruptly.

My first immediate thought, was he suffering from depression? Did he become depressed? Almost 40 percent of Alzheimer's caregivers suffer from depression.

I wondered, did Charles Snelling make a pact with his wife? Were his actions premeditated well in advance?

What was Charles Snelling thinking, feeling?

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Last year Charles Snelling wrote a 5,000 word essay on "life" that he submitted for publication to the New York Times.

It appeared that Charles Snelling found the "act of caring" for someone living with dementia as "virtuous".

His article indicated that Charles made a good decision for his wife and him -- they decided to continue living their life.
“We continue to make a life together, living together in the full sense of the word; going about our life, hand in hand, with everyone lending a hand, as though nothing was wrong at all".
As those nothing was wrong?

I suppose it appeared to those that observed him that Charles Snelling had turned "burden into joy". The joy of caring.

And then it all ended, abruptly.

I am not going to judge Charles Snelling. I have no way of knowing what he was thinking or feeling near the end. I have no idea why he did it.

Burden? Joy? Burden?

Here is a link to an interesting aritcle on the New York Times -- Respect the Future.

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Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room