I found out Monday night that a friend had died. He didn't die of a sudden heart attack, stroke or cancer, all of which would be tragic enough at his age: 54.
He committed suicide.
He leaves behind a wife, three sons (one married, one engaged), and two grandchildren, parents, siblings, plus many friends and acquaintances.
He also leaves behind infinite sadness.
Whatever his reason is - and I won't speculate - it will never be enough for those close to him. They will always wonder, "What didn't I do?" and "What did I do wrong?" They will wonder why their love wasn't enough to keep him here.
I wasn't as close to him as I would have liked - he was a great guy. He was active in many community activities. But he always greeted me with a smile - as if he was truly glad to see me. I was always glad to see him. There's nothing improper about this, I always considered him a friend I wanted to know better. Even I wonder if there was anything I could have said or done to change his mind.
Suicide leaves its mark on those left behind. My grandpa S. died in May 1991. When my dad called us to tell us the news, we were sad. But it was two months later, when we were coming for a visit, that Dad told us how Grandpa died. He shot himself. That made the grief fresh again. It still burns a bit. The only question is why?
My eloquence has left me. I have been planning this out in my mind for two days, and I can't finish it right. To me, suicide is an unthinkable act. I could not do that to my kids, family and friends. I grieve for those who feel they must take this way out, and I grieve for those left behind.
If there is anyone out there reading this who may be considering suicide, I have this to say: Think of those you will leave behind. There must be someone who loves you, someone you love. Don't do this to them. Don't do it to anyone who cares about you at all. If you truly feel there is nobody who cares if you live or die, then make someone care. Volunteer somewhere. Do good things for other people. Do something, but don't leave by suicide.