Before I go any further, let me state that I am not writing this post to create any debates, or to be lectured. This post is strictly my opinion and thoughts on this subject.
I've been doing a lot of thinking about suicide lately. No, not because it's something I've been contemplating. One of my former colleagues and acquaintances committed suicide this week, and it got me to thinking.
When news of the death leaked out, there was a general feeling of shock and disbelief among my friends, co-workers and acquaintances. There was also a lack of information, which bred speculation. Since the deceased was a local celebrity, as the news spread into the community more speculation, rumors, questions and misinformation ran rampant.
Once it was confirmed that the deceased had, indeed, taken his own life, the questions increased, both among those who knew him personally, and among those who knew of him and his work. The question most often asked is Why? The only person who can truly answer that question can no longer speak for himself.
We know now that he had suffered from depression for years. I don't think anyone was really aware of that, other than his family. He hid it well. At work, and in the community, he was friendly and funny. He laughed a lot, and knew how to make others laugh. He was upbeat. He was good at what he did. On the surface, it appeared he had it made. Sadly, it wasn't enough.
When someone commits suicide, often times family and friends blame themselves for not paying attention; for not noticing something was wrong. Others will blame the victim themselves, calling them a coward or saying they gave up. Personally, I don't think either party is to blame. We can't know what others are going through deep down inside, even if they are our parent, child, or spouse. No matter how close you are, you cannot and will not ever know everything about that person. Everyone has their own personal demons and everyone deals with them in the manner they see fit. Whether we feel it's right or it's wrong, everyone is entitled to their own way of handling the cards dealt to them.