I apologize if this post doesn’t make much sense. I’m in a bit of a haze, but I need to try and write something because a. something’s telling me I should and b. I like to have things up on the blog when they happen so they’re there to look back on. This is a bit of a downer, but I’m sure I’ll be back with something funny, if I can make my words convey the meaning I want.
I got some news last night that just can’t help but shake me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad I got the news because I want to know when these things happen. But it’s the reason for this haze. A friend phoned me and told me that a friend of hers killed himself last week, and she just found out now. I didn’t know this guy well, but I met him. He had a big heart and he was a very funny guy. He cared about her and seemed to want to protect her. He seemed to love life. Then somewhere, something went horribly wrong. I refuse to speculate about what it may have been. He’s the only one who knows. I refuse to make assumptions because that can only bring bullshit. All I’ll say is he’s gone now, and what a tragedy. What an empty void he has left. So many questions, no answers, no way to turn things around and pull him from the pit of whatever he was in at the end. No way to replace what is gone forever.
I know that if someone decides to truly end it, there’s nothing in the world any of us could have done to prevent it, it is only his own will to live that stands between life and death, and if that was broken, there is no intervention, no magic words, no pills, nothing that could have really saved him. He has to decide that he wants to live, above all. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t try and reach out and help people who give us a sign that they’re thinking about ending it. That attempt to save them might rebuild their will to live a little. I’m just saying if they do end up taking their own life, we shouldn’t blame ourselves, it’s not our fault.
But somehow, even knowing that doesn’t make the questions stop coming. The head and the heart are two different animals. Shock sets in. I just can’t believe that he would do this. It doesn’t seem to make any sense. I never knew he was having any problems. Then a part of me mentally slaps me silly and says “Why would you know? He was barely an acquaintance. He made goofy jokes while we were walking to a birthday party. He walked with you and your friend to the beer store. You shot back and forth the occasional message on MSN Messenger. That is the sum total of your contact with him. Get over yourself.” But it doesn’t make it any easier and it doesn’t make the grief any less powerful. It was so unexpected. So completely out of the blue. So like getting crushed by a freight train.
Perhaps what makes this worse is that it happened right around the time when, four years ago, someone much closer to me than a passing acquaintance took his own life in the same way as this guy. I didn’t know him super well, but he was a lot closer. I went to school with him. Steve and I shared an apartment with his brother. And just like this one, it was, for me, unexpected.
I hope everybody whose lives were touched by this will take the time they need to heal, and realize that it’s ok to cry and it’s ok if you’re not crying. It’s ok to feel empty. It’s ok to feel…whatever you feel, be it rage, sadness, numbness, guilt, or all of the above in a thought soup. Just feel what you feel, and if you can, let the guilt pass, at least in your head. It wasn’t your fault. You did what you could, this was his choice. Don’t try to bury this. Deal with it in the way that feels right for you, and when you’re ready, move on. Talk to each other. You are not alone. And try to remember the good things about him. Hopefully he is at peace now, and you can find some of your own eventually.