A friend of mine died a few days ago. Tragic enough in itself. The fact he died by his own hand compounds the shock of his unanticipated passing.
I say ‘unanticipated’ but also not a complete surprise. He was a troubled man and had been for years. He also came from a large family in which there had been other suicides. And he had faced (and sometimes dealt with effectively, for a time) some major substance abuse problems and a few other things.
And yet his premature demise is such a waste. Indeed suicide is always a waste but I found his especially poignant. He was a very very bright man. One of the brightest I have known in my life. He was also an artist – a good one – and writer; an excellent (and published one), and a poet and a passionate lover of the Canadian hinterland.
He once invited me to lunch at his small apartment. And we got to talking, and we talked and talked and the time just flew and I can recall thinking, I could converse with you forever, my friend, and we vowed to meet up again. Yet, as people do, or do not, they make vows they don’t keep. And then it’s too late.
He was screamingly witty and droll and literary allusions rolled off him like water off a duck’s back. We laughed as much as we talked. Such a fun guy. Yet, it is now obvious that life wasn’t really fun for him.
He left the community a few years ago and I basically lost touch, but I kind of kept a track on him via some mutual friends – he had a lot of friends, and assuredly female friends who found him quite irresistible, and even though I am male, I get it. I understand the allure he would have had in that realm.
At the time of his death I found that he had been married for a year in the interim, but no longer was at the time he closed the curtain. He was also back in this community, which I also did not know. Could I have done anything to have thwarted his decision. I think not.
But it’s a sad end to a man with more potential than I think he realized. I value greatly the sporadic friendship we had.