Warning: rant coming about matters of pain and death. You have been warned.
I don't know. Death's a funny thing. I used to think it was a big, sudden thing, like a huge owl that would swoop down out of the night and carry you off. I don't anymore. I think it's a slow thing. Like a thief who comes to your house day after day, taking a little thing here and a little thing there, and one day you walk round your house and there's nothing there to keep you, nothing to make you want to stay. And then you lie down and shut up forever. Lots of little deaths until the last big one.
~ Hob Gadling (Neil Gaiman's The Sandman: The Wake)
The unsufferable weight of being
Today was a rather unique day. It so happens that there was a massive strike movement planned for today, but, since my schedule meant I was not teaching today, it did not matter whether I was on strike or not and would be at home if I so wished. I had some tests left to grade, so I did that while watching a famous streaming site for a videogame speedrun. Who knows, maybe these will get their own entries later. I was at home, and a short while after eating, someone in a chatroom I idle in remarked that one member who is usually always here had suddenly left. This in itself could be non-news, sometimes one's connection drops. However, that someone also mentioned a post made by that missing member on a page he had not updated in years. And reading that post was distressing, to say the least.
To make a long story short, it was a suicide note. It was not a late April's fool joke, it was not a teenager's angsty post ; no, that was the real deal.
The way it was written, the way it was structured immediately struck a nerve. I had seen this pain before, and I have seen lives lost. Back in 2001, I went through a similar situation with another person, and she nearly killed herself, and did hurt herself several times before that. Several years later, someone really close took his life, and I knew what life had thrown at him when he did and how hurt and desperate he was. that is why it pains me to see this friend go through it because I know what kind of crap the other persons had to deal with, and it is sad to think he is dealing with that amount of hurt. Even though we are not as close as I was with the other person, he is still someone I care for.
I do not know his circumstances, but I can relate and emphathize with the pain and desperation he has to be going through. I cannot imagine it though. I have been sad before, depressed possibly. I had a period where I was wondering if I would not be better off falling asleep and not waking up. Thankfully, it did not last, and it never got so bad that I would actively consider killing myself. But here it was so bad he seriously considered it (it was confirmed by others) and had gone through removing his Facebook account and making his final post on a remote place only a few would see. I think that one thing that makes it so painful to watch is that I never saw it coming. We are not buddies, we are long-time acquaintances, though I consider him a friend nonetheless. I left the place he takes care of for a long time when life happened, perhaps if I had stuck around and a few events long ago had unfolded differently would have meant we would have been really close, who knows. We are not geographically close ; not so far that meeting one day is impossible, but not close enough that it could be done unplanned. Or perhaps it could be done, but I am not adventurous enough.
Tonight I am sad, because a friend of mine is really hurt, and there is little I can do to help. I can (and have) offer him support to help him be able to better take care of himself, but it feels too little, too late.