should be blogging about something good. Like my second daughter starting school. But sometimes the impetus to express oneself in words is brought on by events of tragedy rather than of triumph.
A friend and former band mate took his own life this past week. I haven't seen or talked to him in many years but the news is weighing heavy on my heart nonetheless. I've been lucky enough not to have known very many people that have taken this path to another life. It's not something I care to get used to. One suicide is one suicide too many.
Another friend and former band mate broke the news to me. They were best friends. As is often the case, even those closest didn't see it coming. As I've spoken to him, he told me that the deceased seemed like he was on top of the world. It was "all good" and there was nothing that sent up any flags. Apparently he did have a bit of an issue with painkillers after a motocross accident but not to the extent that it was feared this would happen. Like I said, his BEST FRIEND didn't see this coming.
Which got me thinking about the nature of suicide itself. I have a hard time wrapping my head around how people can go so far as to believe that suicide is the only way out. And I am no stranger to the concept. I've been to the bottom of the pit of despair. I know what it feels like to be surrounded by the slick walls of pain and loneliness. To feel like you have nothing to grab on to and no one will ever be there to pull you out. But deep down in the bottom of my heart, I knew that there were people out there that cared about me. That cared about me a great deal. That LOVED me. And I knew that if I resigned myself to thinking I would never get out, that the only way to escape the pit would be to put myself in the ground below it, that it would cause more pain and loneliness to those that loved me than I would ever feel myself.
That's why I find it so hard to understand when people actually do take their own lives. Because everyone has someone that loves them. Everyone has someone that wants nothing more than to see them happy. Sadly, sometimes people hold their eyes shut so tight, they can't open them up again to see that. They've blinded themselves to the door that is right in front of them. The other way out.
I suppose some people feel that they are a burden to others. That by choosing to remove themselves from this life, they are somehow doing "us" a favour. Their notion of putting others ahead of themselves has been twisted somehow. Somehow they fail to realize that those they are trying to "free" are actually the ones that will hurt the most. It's a harsh reality, but when it comes right down to it, suicide is a selfish act. (Unconsiously selfish) It's putting your pain and suffering, your needs, ahead of all others. When the true way to happiness is by putting the pain, suffering and needs of others ahead of your own. But it happens everyday. And each one is just as sad and tragic as the next.
I can't begin to know what reasons my friend had for ending his own life. Even his best friend was blindsided. But that's the way it is, isn't it? Those that are serious about it, keep it inside where it gnaws at their soul. If they were to let on that they were really that far gone, someone would try to help. And if they are that serious, they don't want anyone trying to talk them out of it. On the other side, the people we think would commit suicide based on what we see, are the ones that wouldn't. They are just looking for attention and that's one way to get it. When people try to help, that means they care about you. In the end, his suffering in this life has ended. I can take some small solace from that. But it just means the cycle of birth, suffering, sickness and death begins anew for him. I pray that in some way, his return is able to enrich the lives of those he left behind. My heart of hearts goes out to his family and friends in this most difficult time.
RIP Dude. You were part of some of the most exciting years of my life and I will never forget that.