August 01, 2007

So sad.

I got a call yesterday afternoon from someone on the parent/ teacher association telling me that the father of one of my daughter's classmates had unexpectedly passed away and would I be able to make a desert for his funeral lunch. I told her of course and asked how he died. She said she didn't know, only that it was very sudden. So in my mind I'm thinking heart attack, accident. I have to admit suicide did pop into my mind because I've recently learned that a classmate of mine from high school killed herself a couple of months ago. At any rate, I told my daughter and she felt very sad for her classmate and said she'd like to make the cake with me, which she did. Anyway, I had to drop it off at the church this morning and there were already some ladies getting the meal together and I asked them if they knew what had happened, and neither one of them knew, only that it was unexpected because that's what was in the obituary. One of the women showed the obit to me and said she asked the pastor and all he would say is that the article says it was unexpected, so let's just leave it at that. So, of course, we're both assuming it's something like suicide or drug overdose or something along those lines because no one ever wants to say what really happened in those sorts of situations. We did really only talk about suicide, but who really knows. Besides my daughter's classmate, he and his wife have one other child, and I just can't help feeling terrible for those kids. You feel sympathy for the wife as well, but in my thinking she's an adult and is better equipped to handle something like this, but those kids may never understand why this happened. And I don't necessarily know that anyone can truly understand, but as a parent, it makes me angry to think that a father would willingly put his children through this sort of hardship.

Now, I know he must have been suffering from depression or maybe even battling substance abuse, but I generally look at suicide as one of the most selfish and self-centered acts a person can commit. I've known people who had family members who committed suicide that probably would have more sympathy than I would, but I only ever feel sorry for the people left to deal with the aftermath. In my mind, if you've got the wherewithall to take your own life, you've got the wherewithall to ask for help. Granted, I also understand there are people with serious mental illness like schizophrenia who commit suicide, but I usually view those people as not really having the capability to understand the consequence of their actions in relation to the world around them. I suffer from depression myself so I know how very low one can get. And as a teen (or even when I suffered from post-partum depression), I probably had incredibly fleeting moments of considering suicide at some level, but I always knew that was never a real solution to anything and I always knew there was no way in hell I'd put my family through that kind of agony. So my prayers go out to the family dealing with the loss of a husband and father and hope that they can find some kind of peace in their lives and not blame themselves for an action that rests squarely on the shoulders of the person who committed it.

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