Friday, December 16, 2011


Christmas is a hard time for many people, especially for those who have just lost a family member or friend. 

To commit suicide always seems such a desperate and selfish act to me, as family members are left to pick up the pieces, always questioning what they could have done to avert this tragic action; what cues they missed and what they could have done differently.

So to commit suicide a week before Christmas seems the ultimate selfish act to me. Why? It sounds almost flip to ask this, but couldn’t you have waited? Now every Christmas your family is left with the haunting memory of your death.

It does make you wonder what drives people to take such drastic steps. And I am not immune to this. I have a cousin who tragically took her own life on the birthday of her son, who she had to give up for adoption, at a time when it was not socially acceptable to keep your child as a young, single mother. I often think of Eileen and reflect how differently it could have been if she’d just lived a decade later when her life choice would have been more acceptable.

But what a waste. And how hurtful for the surviving family.

None of us knows what happens behind closed doors or closed minds. It speaks to the power of depression and mental health challenges which are insidious but eat away at a person’s ability to logically combat and fight against all the negative feelings that they hold close inside. It tells you how for some the force of negativity and feelings of hopelessness are too strong and outweigh the ability to see options beyond the current situation.

So I find the sudden and tragic death of a young man we knew, who has a young family, just beyond my comprehension. I just keep thinking why? What could have been so bad that it warranted such drastic action? Why? And why now?

My heart goes out to the widow and her two young daughters. I hope they find the strength and peace to accept what has happened.

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