Thursday, June 23, 2005

at a loss

this is a downer. i'm warning you.

a friend of mine from school killed himself yesterday. actually, i'm not sure what day he did it. the housekeeper found him yesterday. he's a trust fund baby whose parents live in china and he lives here in their apartment, alone. there is no doubt that he was an alcoholic. he came off as being neither depressed nor overly happy. he was always easy and zen-ish. he took things as they came. or at least that's what it seemed. whatever this was, he could think of no other escape. sometimes he'd disappear for a week or two. when i first met him, it worried people but we just kind of accepted that that's just the way dave was. it was a little quirky. i know that everything is clearer in hindsight, but i can't help but think that we should have known that he was having real problems. that we should have done more to help him with his drinking problem (which he acknowledged, jokingly, he had, but had thoroughly convinced us that he was alright after all). we should have known that him disappearing like he sometimes did just was not normal. i'm certain that this had nothing to do with the bar exam, or school. he was that guy that never came to class, was a genius but "didn't apply himself," and still managed to get good grades anyhow. he could have cared less about school.

i'm angry at his selfishness one moment, and accepting that this is bigger than us and has nothing to do with us the next, and at the same time i'm in absolute denial that i'll never see him again. i feel this heavy weight and this sickness in my stomach as if something really bad has happened, but not the reality that is his death. my brain just will not wrap itself around it.

anybody out there who might know what he was going through? how it feels to want to take your life in the belief that it is the only way out? any guesses as to what it was he wanted out of? he left a note but i'm not sure if we'll ever know what it said. feel free to e-mail me if you think you can help me to understand where he might have been because at this point, i'm at a loss.

17 people who played with me:

Blogger Nadia said...

Jazz, I can't help you with understanding suicide because I can barely begin to comprehend it myself. I'm so sorry for your loss. I hope you'll be okay.

6/23/2005 7:59 PM  
Blogger Larry said...

I can basically only say the same thing nadia said. I am sorry about your friend. Hope you are okay.

6/23/2005 8:26 PM  
Blogger Gloria Glo said...

Ah, hon. I'm so sorry. For him and for you.

6/23/2005 10:25 PM  
Blogger jac said...

Suicide basically happens during sudden emotional out breaks, closely resembling a volcano. I think that if he had a close friend, this might not have happened. They always show symptoms that a close friend can easily pich up. I am sorry !

6/23/2005 10:32 PM  
Blogger quycksilver said...

I'm not sure that I agree with the statement that if your friend would have had close friends, that this might not have happened because close friends pick up signals. It might happen during times of extreme emotional turmoil, or it might not.

If people want to hurt themselves, whether it's suicide or other forms of destructive behavior, they can be pretty sneaky about hiding it if they want to, and if someone decides to do something like like commit suicide, there isn't really a way to stop him or her. You can't monitor people 24/7, and where there's a will, there's a way.

Sadly, there's no way to know what he was going through since he didn't tell anyone, but I don't think there would be a way to understand his decision even if he explained it because the decision to end your life isn't a rational or logical decision.

Of course, that doesn't make it any less painful for those he left behind. I'm sorry Jazz.

6/23/2005 11:43 PM  
Blogger cadiz12 said...

jasmine, i am so very sorry.

but i think quycksilver's right. often if someone is set on doing something like this, they can be very convincing at pretending that everything's okay, even to the point of making it seem like things are getting better.

in junior high we read this book called 'remembering the good times' about these three best friends who lost one of them to suicide. right before he did it, they thought he was getting better. and they had been very good friends to him. the people who are left really do have the heaviest burden.

i'm really sorry you guys have to go through this.

6/24/2005 2:15 AM  
Blogger mrsmogul said...

I am so sorry! You must be in shock! All I can say is I send you warm hugs.

6/24/2005 3:54 AM  
Blogger Swipe said...

I'm so sorry for your loss too.

I don't believe it's a sudden burst of emotion that causes it. It's a slowly worsening case of depression that causes it and the ultimate decision is due to the loss of hope that things will get better.

Stats say that when men commit suicide, it is a well though out action and your friend may have been contemplating this for a long time.

6/24/2005 6:59 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

I'm sorry for your loss.

I've been down that road a few times, where I (briefly) thought of taking that path. But, I always saw that things could get better. I always knew that no matter how dark it felt, that brighter days were ahead.

I ache for your friend, to be at a point that is so low that he could not see out of the well of despair is heartbreaking.

My heart goes out to all concerned--the poor soul who took his own life and those that are left forever wondering "if only..."

6/24/2005 12:29 PM  
Blogger Ale said...

yes, that is whats so hard about it. not seeing the light, or better days ahead- when seemingly nothing is really wrong, and no one outside of you will know why you feel that way, or be able to help you.

it's really hard to look at the world and see blue in the same spot everyone else sees pink. something that no one can explain why this happens; and this is why its so hard to deal with for that person and people around that person.

6/24/2005 12:45 PM  
Blogger JustJunebug said...

been there. done that. email sent. my prayers are with you in your time of grief and confusion.

6/24/2005 12:57 PM  
Blogger Katie said...

Wow, I really can't give you a good enough, or strong enough response. I am very sorry, for what it's worth. And to be honest, I don't think even he understood. And there never is one reason.

My dad is kind of suicidal (very scary) so I know what I'm talking about when I tell you not to blame yourself. There really was nothing you could have done. You'll only be hurting yourself if you blame yourself. Did he seem to have fun with you? Because if so, then I'd say you did all you really could have.

6/24/2005 3:25 PM  
Blogger Digitalicat said...

I wish I had wisdom to share with you. I'm so sorry.

6/24/2005 3:36 PM  
Blogger Syar said...

*silence* i want to say something, I want to help but I really don't know how. i'm so sorry for him and for you. hope you get through this okay.

6/24/2005 9:34 PM  
Blogger @ said...

Suicide is not about having close friends. Usually the person doesn't want anyone to know what is going on inside and they go to great extremes to hide what is going the outside world. Its something inside that no one can stop if you are hell bent on doing it. Its emotional and its all encompasing.

Chin up Jazz...He is gone, but you are still here and you will get through this.

6/28/2005 12:51 PM  
Blogger 2Shea said...

I believe addiction (to drugs/alcohol/etc.) is simply self-medication, due to some problem in someone's life - be it emotional, mental, or even a chemical imbalance. [This is why treatment is often unsuccessful. The SUBSTANCE isn't to blame - the underlying problem needs to be identified and corrected so that the 'medication' is no longer needed.] I personally know 2 heroine addicts that I feel without using would have committed suicide long ago. One of them is the most wonderful girl with everything going for her - highly intelligent and attended very discriminating colleges, lots of friends, financial security, supportive family, beautiful homes, she's sweet and compassionate, etc. etc. etc. - everything in the world it would seem - but she's just sad inside. Your friends' alcoholism was probably a signal that something was wrong - and no one may ever know what that was, maybe not even he knew. Childhood issues? Depression? Emptiness? Genetics? It could be several of these or others - you will most likely never know what it was. As with any untimely death, so often the question 'WHY?' plagues the ones left behind. I know it's extremely hard to accept the fact this will probably never be answered, but I don't think we are supposed to know. If we knew all the answers, what's the point of life? And since he is no longer here learning and experiencing life, I think the best thing anyone who knew him can do is to learn from the experience and find a personal lesson to take from the tragedy. If it affects no one, then it truly is a tragedy.

Something that helps me deal with death is the realization that feeling sad is selfish. The person is not feeling pain, illness, remorse, sadness, etc. - they are dead! If anything - if there is a heaven/afterlife - they must be a lot better off. Your sadness is just because YOU will miss them, sad for what YOU have lost. Where ever they are, they aren't feeling bad.

In James Van Praagh's book "Talking to Heaven" he discusses suicide. I personally believe in souls and afterlife. (No, I don't KNOW there is one, and I will never know until I'm dead so as long as it comforts me now, who cares whether I'm right or wrong? I'm not going to get in a tizzy trying to figure out 'the truth' to something no one knows.) Going along with the 'afterlife' believe - I think the purpose of living is to learn -gain knowledge and understanding. And perhaps we keep coming back to learn more and more each time. Earth is like a classroom and through living our soul builds knowledge. [And equally, when someone you know dies, YOU are meant to learn - the dead person is done learning.] If you commit suicide, I don't think you learned all you were meant to and will have to repeat (the fear of having to go through it all again is enough to scare me into not entertaining suicidal thoughts). Van Praagh goes a bit further by saying our soul actually CHOOSES how he/she will die before being born. Kind of like you get to select the difficulty level of your life (each one being more difficult). He says people who commit suicide have chosen a level too difficult. They then go to special 'soul counseling' or something to heal and return again (something along those lines). This makes a lot of sense logically, and since no one can know if this theory is correct - I think it's a valid explanation to something we can truly NOT answer in this lifetime. I take this as an acceptable answer to why someone commits suicide, since no one can ever pinpoint an exact cause, you will probably NEVER satisfactorly answer WHY? otherwise.

6/29/2005 7:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so sorry.... Someone close to me did this about 10 years ago right after his girlfriend broke up with him. Ten years later we're all still asking ourselves "why?" In retrospect, you can see all of the warning signs. It's such a waste, isn't it? I hope you are able to make peace with this at some point. It's rough in the beginning. Good luck.

7/03/2005 5:20 PM  

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