Yesterday, using an overdose of medication for severe headaches, one of the Playgrounders took his life. And I find myself suffering at least three stages of grieving all at once.
It starts with the recent loss of his father, who had been battling cancer for a while. I don't exactly know when it happened, but this is a painful experience, even when it's something for which you prepare. "Oh, he was sick a long time." That's no excuse, nor is it a good explanation. If you loved the person, their death still hits hard.
Even more recently, on 23 October, he lost his fiancee and unborn child in a car accident. I saw a picture of them on the thread in which we post such things, and they were a beautiful couple. The one photo I saw was of two people who were happy and in love. I don't have the details, but I know he was delayed in going down to identify her body. My guess is that she was in a severely bad way, and that officials wanted to get her cleaned up before he saw her.
I put myself in his situation, and it makes me want to break down in hysterics. The idea that I could get a call from police to come identify Becky after a wreck...I could easily imagine the image of her body getting trapped in my head, battered, bruised, and all sorts of holes where medical equipment was used. G-d, I pray that I never have to experience such a thing.
Alas, he did, or so I imagine. If she died in a car accident, I doubt she only had a bump on her head.
He was obviously upset, as he posted on the Depression Thread. But his post was in response to someone else on 25 October. The other person was threatening suicide, and the response was one of hope. Here's what he wrote, every word and punctuation as he put it:
Life...Life is precious. You won't listen to me when I say that, but it is.
When you've literally had two lives stolen from you, you may understand but please just trust me for now...
I can assure you that you will be missed. You wouldn't think it...But you will.
Lost lives devastate people. Family, engagements, marriages, children...
All partially destroyed in some way...All losing a precious piece.
Don't do that to the people who love you.
Even I, who've recently lost an unborn child and a lover, fiance and beautiful woman. Acknowledge that one day, maybe no day soon, but maybe one day things will return a smile to my face. One day...
So please...Don't just throw your life so casually away, okay?
His response to someone else's crisis indicated that he had some strength in him, and that he was trying to survive a nightmare. People offered to chat with him, and from what I gathered in his postmortem thread, there were a few private discussions going on. Unfortunately, he gave no indications that he was in dire need of genuine help. He didn't say anything on the depression thread about it. Not on the Depression Thread. Elsewhere, he seemed to indicate that he was steadily falling apart...but not on any threads that I visit.
This leaves me shocked and extremely sad. I mean, those who come to the Depression Thread are "my people." Even if I don't talk to them, as it seems so many others are willing to be the voices of reason of late, they are my charges. If I see someone post, and there's a lack of response because they aren't part of "the popular crowd," I will speak up and try to aid them. The phrase that keeps passing through my head is, "I lost one of my own."
Another piece of the stage of grieving that I'm experiencing is denial. No, this is some kind of cruel joke, perpetrated to show this person how much he'd be missed if he took his life. He's not really dead. In fact, he'll probably come along soon and say, "I'm so sorry to do this to all of you, but someone wanted to prove a point. They said I'd be missed, and I didn't believe them. Well, now I do, and I hope you can all forgive me." I did something similar when my friend Sandra passed away, thinking she was only tired of talking to me and had her family tell me she died, and that she was actually alive and well. Seeing a tombstone changes that kind of thinking rapidly.
The final stage of grieving that I'm experiencing is anger. I mean, how DARE he come along with a message of hope, saying what he said, and then ending his own life. He's a hypocrite. I shouldn't waste a single tear on that lying bastard!
But I will. I'll shed many tears. Because while I may not KNOW his pain, I can understand it. I imagine he was thinking that there would never be a day when he'd smile again; that every day from now on would be a struggle to get through. If he did make it through this insanely difficult time and moved on, every woman he dated would be trying to live up to the standards set by a personal ghost. His words could speak of hope, but his mind was mired in little else but enduring darkness.
I pray he's reunited with his beloved, and that they exist in eternity, forever in love's blissful embrace. Rest in peace, Zen.