A Tragic Loss

An acquaintance/friend of ours died by suicide on July 29th. I was shocked to hear this when KR told me about it. He was, too. While I had only spoken with this friend a couple of times, briefly, I admired his animated, lively way of speaking and telling stories. I love a good storyteller. He was a good guy with a big heart. KR worked with him up until the middle of May when the friend “pointed out.” For anyone not familiar with the “point system,” a lot of factories in this area use points to discourage tardiness, absenteeism, and other work-related mistakes. If employees get too many points, they’re fired.

This friend was struggling. His marriage ended, and he was left without a home for a while. He stayed with some mutual friends of ours before finding another place to live. Then, he lost his job. Why can’t employers take into consideration major life changes like a divorce? Divorce is a huge stressor. Being homeless is a huge stressor. Losing a job is a huge stressor. I can understand his despair and hopelessness because I’ve been there.

His family didn’t even have a funeral for him — no wake, no memorial service, nothing. A few of us who knew him got together this past Saturday to memorialize his passing. As I listened to the stories everyone shared about him, I wondered what went through his mind before he made that fateful decision. No one will ever know. I can imagine because I’ve been there so many times, but I can’t know. 

It’s a tragic loss when anyone dies by suicide. I feel sad for our friend. I feel sad that he couldn’t reach out to anyone for help. I feel sad that no one recognized his pain. I feel sad that he died so alone in that way. His death is another tragic reminder to me that depression can be fatal. I wouldn’t wish this dis-ease on anyone. As for me, I’m coping with the trigger in the best ways I know how. I chose to draw this friend’s portrait today while wishing his soul my best on its journey. I can only hope he found the peace he was searching for.

If you are feeling suicidal, please, call: 1-800-273-TALK (8255). What you are experiencing, what you are feeling does not have to be fatal. Please, seek help. I know, easier said than done. If you find that you cannot call, wait it out, just wait it out.


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