Monday, November 23, 2009


I must warn you, this is a rather heavy topic.  I got to work this morning feeling great.  A little tired (really busy weekend) but otherwise good.  Within 15 minutes, I was informed that we had received some very bad news.  One of my favourite people at work, although I don't know him really well but have so much respect for him, lost his 19 son (only child to boot) to suicide on Friday.  I don't know any details, have not had any contact with him.  He lives in Toronto from Mon-Thurs then goes home for the weekends.

We don't have children.  I cannot fathom how unbelievably devastating this must be for him and his wife.  To lose a child to illness or accident or even the unthinkable is bad enough ... but when someone so young takes his own life ... how do you cope?  I believe the young man had some mental health issues so it likely wasn't out of left field.  Who knows what other people are dealing with in their private lives...  needless to say it was a rather somber day in the office.

So I went out at lunch for some retail therapy .. almost ended up at Danier Leather but thought better of it and went to Reitman's instead (much, much cheaper), bought a new pair of black pants, black top and black and silver belt.  And I try to stay away from too much black ... guess it was a reflection of my mood.  Then I went to Pinstripe, got Barry a bright blue sweater and a purple striped shirt.  Even my trip to my shoe guy didn't help too much.

I guess I was thinking about one of my nephews.  He was diagnosed as schizophrenic, probably 15 years ago.  He's talked of suicide but he's deeply religious and since Catholics don't believe in suicide, I suspect that's one of the main reasons he's still alive.  But he's been distancing himself from the family.  He disowned his father.  He's becoming more paranoid.  I fear for his safety sometimes.  His mental health always.

I had a friend commit suicide about 25 years ago.  My former brother-in-law hung himself Dec 4th, probably 20 years ago.  The same nephew who's sick got married to a woman who was bipolar and she accidentally OD'd.  They figure she had a massive drop in seratonin level and she took too many pills trying to feel better.  But that's different.  She didn't plan it.  At least we don't think so.  It just seems like there's been far too much of this.

Is it in our wiring?  From what I know, it seems like it's a chemical inbalance in people that drives them to do terrible things to themselves.  And others.

Of course typical me, I'm solid as a rock during crisis ... then I fall apart when I'm alone.  I'm not sure why I do that.  Maybe I'm afraid to be vulnerable in front of others.  But that's not entirely true 'cause I waited until I was on the GO train with my girl Kandi before I couldn't keep it together any more.  Yeesh.  Maybe one day I'll learn to deal with things when they happen.  Or I'll explode.  I'm not sure which is gonna happen first.

So hug your spouse, your kids, your parents, your cat.   And enjoy life.  It's too short.


  1. I'm going to say that suicide seems like the only way out of certain situations when one is stuck in a negative thinking pattern.

    Especially if they are feeling alone, misunderstood, isolated or persecuted.

    It's always sad and tragic. One of my best friends attempted suicide when we were in our 20s, but luckily, he was OK and he has since gotten a lot of help.

    I've been in that headspace myself (in the past) but I always found something to live for before making a decision that I could not change.

    I feel very sorry for your co-worker and his wife.

    That would be heart-breaking.

  2. How sad. That poor family. :( This breaks my heart. I can understand the feeling of being so sad and so empty, that you just want to go to sleep and never wake up. But I have never actually considered suicide b/c its pointless. It gets nothing accomplished and overall just does more harm than good. I could never hurt my family like that. It's the cruelest thing you can do to your family and friends...I wish more people would realize that.
    I had a close friend attempt suicide a short while ago. Fortunately, her son found her and took her to the emergency room immediately. She's okay now. But it worries me...I hope she won't attempt it again...I wish she would get professional help. I'm doing everything I can as a friend, but sometimes that's really not enough. :(

  3. I just wanted to thank you both for your comments and your support.
    A group from the office went for visitation this afternoon, another tonight and another group is going tomorrow for the funeral. Things were a little better today; it'll keep getting better.
    I think most of us know someone who has at least attempted suicide.
    Thanks again.

  4. When I was working at the GM dealer in Cobourg, one of the service advisors there named Chris and I got along very well. He was one of the funniest people I had met. We were always telling each other jokes and we would both be laughing so hard that the stories usually didn't get finished (remind you of somebody?). Anyway, he left to work at a dealer in Whitby, or Oshawa maybe, can't remember which (not important). So, a few months after he left, he came back to Cobourg between Christmas and New Year's to wish everyone Happy Holidays. He was his usual self, joking around as always. I gave him my new email address, we shook hands, exchanged holiday greetings etc. A few weeks later in January we found out that he had taken his own life, and I remember that it was either a few days after or a few days before his 33rd birthday. Who knows what is going through a person's head at that time, maybe it was a split second decision. Maybe he was getting "prepared" or "saying goodbye" to everyone. It is really hard to understand what is going on behind the mask sometimes, and how someone can get to that ultimate point to do something that drastic. I'm very sorry for your loss Sandy. I understand how you feel.

  5. Thanks Tony. I really appreciate your support.

  6. Oh that poor boy & his family. Poor thing. There is some things in life I just don't understand. I like you tend to be tough as nails for people and then wait til I'm by myself to cry. I'm sorry to hear about your brother-in-law. I just can't imagine...I've never had anything like this around me personally. I don't know what I would do if this happened to someone I knew. I will make sure I hug my parents & give calls to my friends to know I'm caring about them. All I can do here is *Cyber Hug* but if you were closer I'd give ya a real one.