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Contemplating mortality

This week my unit was shocked by the news that one of our coworkers had passed away. As he was 22 years old and in reasonably good health, we were surprised. Our supervisor didn't give us the details, but eventually the word began to circulate that he had, indeed, committed suicide. Seemed that he and his fiancee had a fight and broke up a couple nights before. The last time I talked with him, last Friday, he was in very good spirits and eagerly looking forward to Christmas and caroling (he loved music and singing). He had a little girl from a previous marriage. Both his mother and his stepfather also work at our office(they haven't been in, obviously). We knew his stepfather pretty well, since he works upstairs in Tech Services; the mother's in Underwriting. She used to come to our building to have lunch with them, so I had a sort of nodding acquaintance with her; she obviously adored her son. I'm filled with both sadness and rage. I know at 22 I was a careless and thoughtless person who tended to think only of myself, but I grew up and grew out of it, and like when my brother died, I'm filled with a rage knowing this boy will never really become an adult. And he's done his daughter out of a chance of ever knowing her daddy. And he did it just before Christmas, leaving his family with this memory at this season forever.

I guess I've grown to the point where I love life so deeply, so passionately, so intensely, that I can no longer comprehend the point of view where anything is worth killing one's self over.

In any case, it's made the office a much quieter place than it usually is.

Oddly enough, also got word that amazing honky-tonk singer Gary Stewart also committed suicide this week... but that at the twilight of a hard life, after losing a son to suicide and a wife of 43 years to an illness, as well as a career to the pop-ification of country music (he was the genius behind the pure sound of the song "She's Acting Single (I'm Drinking Doubles)"). Not sure how to feel about that one.

But went out Wednesday night to see "Return of the King," and oh, wow, Aragorn (whom I've been in love with since approximately the 7th grade). :) Excellent film. I can't wait for the expanded edition. Then I'll schedule 10 hours and watch all three in one long marathon session, O yes precious. I do wish Denethor had died on his pyre clutching the palantir, though.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 18th, 2003 09:12 pm (UTC)
The problem with suicide, Kathy, is that it isn't the result of logical thinking. By the time you're depressed enough to be serious about suicide, you can't think or function rationally. You just want the pain to stop, and the only way to stop the pain is to stop yourself from going on. In fact, it's not unusual to sincerely believe that the world and your loved ones would be better without you and that no one would care or notice if you were gone. That's why depression is a serious mental illness.

I'm sorry for his family, but I wish to heaven it was easier for depressed people to feel comfortable getting counseling and medication. I know from personal experience that when you're depressed and need help, you barely have the energy or confidence to call a professional--and many of the agencies won't call you back! Getting depression counseling is something that requires the same time and effort as accessing any social service (LOTS!), and a depressive person isn't up to it. I also think suicidal people often don't call suicide hotlines because (a) you already know what the shiny, happy people will say, and (b) who the hell is this stranger to you anyway?

I don't think your friend was selfish, just desperate and hurt. I only wish he had been able to talk to someone to get the help he obviously needed. Gods rest his soul. :'-(

Dec. 19th, 2003 11:21 am (UTC)
I agree with Maggie about the depression; in his state, he probably thought he was doing the best thing for everyone. I am sorry for his family, especially his daughter. I've had to learn to live my depression, and I know at 22 I'd come within a hair of giving in myself.

We still haven't been to see Return of the King yet... :sniff:
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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