My neighbor’s son just took his own life…

I just learned that my neighbor’s son just took his own life. I think he was 25, or thereabouts. He’d recently gotten a job at Novell, working in security. We’d met a couple of times in the halls, and in the lunchroom, and we’d spent time sitting on the porch there in our little cul-de-sac, just talking about stuff.

He looked happy. He was always smiling.

I feel sick.

And right now, I can’t even remember his first name.


22 thoughts on “My neighbor’s son just took his own life…”

  1. They say…

    They say that there are signs…

    Of the couple of people I know who have taken their lives…

    I never saw a one of them…

    I guess maybe there are things you invent in your memory to explain the guilt you usually feel after something like that…

    Don’t ask me why people feel guilt… I’m not a shrink…

    I just know it really, really sucks… For everyone…

    My thoughts and prayers to the man’s family, and to everyone who knew him…

  2. My cousin died this way just this last May. None (no one) of us saw it coming.

    I sorrow for your loss, and for his family, and for him.

    God grant you grace.

  3. You’re in shock. It’s Ok that you can’t remember his name. It’s normal.

    The warning signs that people talk about usually only are seen in hindsight.

    You cannot know what is going on in someone’s mind. You cannot know what choices they will make in a single weak moment.

    It will be ok.

  4. That sucks.

    It’s odd that sometimes the ones that really seem down and ready to give up are just signalling for attention, and the ones that really need help don’t give any clear indications at all.

    1. Indications

      I do believe that indicators are there and that they are real. I also believe that many “indicators” are confusing. When a child says “My tummy hurts” it could be anything from hunger to apendicitis. Hindsight is 20/20.

      1. Re: Indications

        While I agree with you Sandra, I think seawasp’s point is valid as well.

        “Clear indications” tends to be a matter of degrees.

      2. Re: Indications

        If it’s not interpretable, it’s not an indication that’s worth much. As you say, hindsight is 20/20, but few people care about hindsight.

        With me, indicators need to be like skyrockets. I rarely notice when I’ve offended someone (unless I MEAN to — I’m great at that), or when someone indicated romantic interest; there were times when I was younger that, apparently, several young ladies thought they’d given me clear signals, and I’d completely missed them.

        Signals for potential events like these, well, if the guy’s trying to hide them, it’s going to be very, very hard to pick up, and those who miss them shouldn’t blame themselves.

  5. I am very sorry to hear this, sir. I wish you the strength to offer and be comfort to your neighbors — they will need that strength. And your own family will be upset as well; may comfort find them quickly.

    Best wishes.
    ===|==============/ Level Head

  6. Thoughts and prayers with his family and yours. It’s so hard to understand why someone would do something like this, leaving those who knew them to grieve and question why.

  7. Howard, I’m so sorry to hear that. It can be hard to take when you know someone and talk to them, and then suddenly, one day, BAM, they’re just gone. And harder still to understand when it’s their own decision and there’s no apparent reason.

    But, you never know what kind of private hell someone can be going through and never letting it show to the outside world, for whatever reason.

  8. I think I know why I’m upset…

    I think I know why I’m upset.

    When I first met him, he was fairly recently recovering from regular substance abuse, and had turned his life around. He was pretty happy about that, too.

    When Sandra visited with the stepmother she was told “He’d just had so much darkness in his life, and so little light…”

    My job… MY JOB in this life is making things lighter (in more than one sense of the word). I get email from time to time telling me that some days the only thing one of my readers has to look forward to is Schlock. Great. I’m happy for that. I feel fulfilled. But if a guy I know personally is suffering from “not enough light” it really hits home.

    Yeah, yeah. Guilt. Projection. Loss. In part I’m just going through the usual battery of responses to such an event. But only in part.


    p.s. For the morbidly curious, his death was a deliberate drug overdose. There was a note, and his affairs, such as they were, had been set in some semblance of order. Notwithstanding that, there is a criminal investigation under way, because the drugs used were either controlled or proscribed substances, and somebody provided him with them.

  9. There’s never much that one can say at these times.
    A few black and white pixels splattered across your screen don’t convey emotion as well as I would like.

    So, I can only say I’m sorry, and hope you’ll understand that I mean it sincerely.

    I hope you and your family can help out your neighbors when they really need it.



  10. Sorry

    It’s a loss when someone dies. Especially when they’re young and there’s such a loss of potential. Unfortunately, you can’t help someone if they don’t ask. It don’t know if that thought will help you, but it made me feel better, later anyway.

  11. I too offer my condolences, though I do find it interesting, in some sense, that a lot of people who do this don’t try to find help sooner because they don’t want to be a burden on anyone… and then their passing leaves a heavier weight in the process.

    There may or may not have been signs there – and I don’t know if it could have been prevented. Being supportive is one thing – but if the person whose mind is contemplating suicide doesn’t see it, or interpret it in that fashion…

    I’m sorry if this sounds cold and uncaring, but… well, speaking as someone who’s been into these dark, brooding times, I can’t say that I don’t understand it – but I do understand how the survivors feel. I still offer my apologies, and commiserate with the loss of those around him.

  12. It’s a complex issue, and there’s much to say about it, but not here and now.

    Forgetting his name, or his face for that matter, isn’t unusual. The human mind works in weird ways, especially in moments of stress or shock.

    Here and now… I can only offer my own condolences, and wish I could do it in person.

    As for your bringing light, you do. I for one look forward to reading Schlock every day. Of the
    target=”_blank”>dozen or so online comics I read
    , Schlock is my favorite. I save it, the best, for last.

    There are days when it’s one of the few bright spots.

    Thank you for being there, and sharing the light.

    “Shared joy is increased; shared grief is diminished. Thus do we refute entropy.” -Spider Robinson

    Thank you also for sharing your grief. It’s possible that your neighbor’s son died because he tried to share only the joy. We can only love each other as whole human beings; to share only the good part is a noble effort, but the result is to cheat ourselves and everyone else.

    “A friend is somebody who knows all about you — but likes you anyway.”

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