Death by Sunshine
Some vampires decide to greet the blue skies very shortly after turning. In 30 Days of Night, the character Eben becomes a vampire to save his friends. He fights off the vicious, murdering vampires of Alaska. But he doesn’t want to remain a monster, and since there is no cure, he chooses to enjoy the beautiful sunrise.
In Let the Right One In, a character named Virginia slowly realizes what she’s become. The sunlight burns her, cats try to eat her, and she’s very thirsty. And so Virginia asks a hospital attendant to open the blinds. The sunlight streaming in burns her to death.
In Masters of Horror: The V Word, the character Justin refuses to be a killer, and has his best friend, also a vampire, tie him down so he won’t try to escape the painful sunlight.
Not all vampires want to die the morning after they’re bitten. Some vampires wait years, some wait centuries. Some wait millennia.
In Thirst, the lead vampire is a priest who decides to indulge in his new cravings. For a priest, he dives deep into evil pretty quickly after becoming a vampire. But that’s nothing compared to the woman he brings the curse to. He kills her husband and turns her. She indulges in such remorseless slaughter that the priest is pushed to his limit. She falls asleep as he drives them to a cliff’s edge, with nowhere to hide from the sun. They die together in the sunrise.
In Blood and Donuts, Boya is a vampire who wakes up accidentally, after being asleep since 1969. He refuses to feed on humans, and instead lives on animal blood. He’s a sweet, caring vampire who tries to keep the humans he cares about safe from harm. In the end, he decides he’s done with the struggle, and waits for the sunrise to take him away.
In True Blood, the vampire Godric meets the sun after two thousand years. He is an enlightened vampire, despite committing atrocities in his past. Though he now has such compassion, and could teach the world so much, he feels too weary. “Two thousand years is enough,” he decides. He dies on a rooftop, vanishing in the rising sun.
So why commit suicide by sunshine? Because it’s better than living as a monster. It seems like an obvious choice for anyone who has some sense of compassion for their fellow man. Also an obvious choice for any vegans, or squeamish types.
And for vampires who have lived for hundreds or thousands of years, well, this seems obvious too. They have seen history repeat itself again and again. Hundreds of years watching people hurt each other. And even if they become enlightened, and have compassion, they still can’t stop all suffering. And their own kind, though they have lived for centuries are still only an evolved form of human cruelty and maliciousness. Vampires are an exaggeration of the baser qualities of humans, of their lust for violence and crude carnal desires. So it seems clear to me why a vampire who has lived for centuries or millennia, or even one night, would choose to walk into the sun.