I just found out another friend of mine committed suicide. Mike was the most optimistic person I knew. He was always bubbly and lighthearted. He was passionate about many things. Tennis, piano, decorating his house, working in his garden. He was even passionate about the job that worked him to the bone. He’s the last person who would do something like take his own life.
After talking to his partner about his behavior the last week, I think Mike had disappeared already. He wasn’t himself. He called me May 7 and told me how paranoid he had suddenly become. Very suddenly. He read into everyone’s words that they mocked and hated him. No matter what was said. He knew this was serious and asked for my help. I put him in touch with a councelor I know well. Mike called me Monday to say he had met with the councelor and had been diagnosed and was on medication. I didn’t hear from him again.
He had been diagnosed as bi-polar. I don’t know what med he was on. But for someone so up beat and confident to become so fragile so quickly must have made it worse. He snapped, shattered. What a tragedy. What a tragedy.
I’ve been doing well despite my tendency toward depression the past few years. I’ve been very busy, distracted by career issues and somewhat frazzled, obsessed with this blog, and spending less time with the many friends I have. It’s so easy to become complacent, to let time slip away while fiddling with things which may not really matter.
Our lives are really so fragile, always. We don’t really live unless we face that truth daily. With effort, we can notice each little tiny moment as it passes forever into oblivion. We can live with the earnest intention of seeing and living with compassion. We must. Otherwise we are just animals.
Mike’s death (and Barbara’s) remind me that the little things are all we have, ultimately. A smile, a hug, so corney, but they remind us we are connected. Please give a hug to someone you know in honor of Mike and Barbara.