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Tuesday, June 23, 2009


My neighbor was found dead this afternoon. Suicide. I found out about it from another neighbor's boyfriend, Richard, who had knocked on my door to pass along the information. Bad news travels fast.

I put on my sandals (the dangerous ones) and walked down to the mailbox so I could retrieve my mail first, figuring I'd look less conspicuous and nosy if I had something to carry in my hand as I wandered over to where all the cop cars were, like I had just stumbled upon the scene on my way back from checking the mail.

There was a fire truck and three cop cars. Lots of neighbors milling around. I picked out a guy walking a beagle and asked him what had happened. Apparently the poor man had just gotten out of the psych ward the day before and he came home and killed himself. Maybe he had been suicidal before and that's why he had been in the hospital. Maybe while he was there they put him on one of those wonderful antidepressants that have "thoughts of suicide" as one of the side effects. Who knows?

What I do know is that I'd see him every day when I'd go for my walk, sitting on the steps, smoking a cigarette. Sometimes we'd make eye contact and I'd smile or say hi. He never said anything back to me, he just sat there looking kind of depressed. Maybe he needed a friend.

I hope there was someone out there that cared about him. He must have had someone, right? A friend or family member? God, I sure hope so. Everyone needs a friend. This world's too hard to go it alone.

He was the kind of guy that you probably don't usually take notice of. Reddish hair, big build. I can't really picture his face. But still. He was a human being. With thoughts and feelings and hopes and aspirations. The world is diminished because of his death.

I didn't even know his name. And that makes me sad.


Here's a good article from the Mayo Clinic about what to do if a friend or loved one is suicidal.

Here are some suicide and crisis hotlines you can call if you are depressed or suicidal.


yanjiaren/qibucks said...

Gosh that is sad. Unfortunately so many people migrate all over the place and get disconnected with friends and family and then they become lonely and depressed..also so many other factors come into play. I hope He has found a better place..All we can do is pray for his souls now.

Glynis said...

That is so sad. I hope his family and friends are ok.

lsheldon5 said...

So sad to hear about your neighbor. My nephew comitted suicide when he was 21. He had a loving family but still felt lost. Sometimes depression is not obvious, but people leave small clues that they are depressed. I hope more people reach out to those who do not feel God's presence.

Laura said...

That is sad and kind of spooky too to have it happen so close to you, to someone you had contact with even a little.

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