“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”
— Attributed to Plato
Yesterday someone I love committed suicide.
No one saw it coming. He was not a person who shared his feelings easily. We didn’t know he was fighting demons we didn’t see.
“I don’t understand.” Our eighty-three-year-old mother’s voice breaks when she says this, turning the statement into a question, a plea for an explanation that will never come. Because this act speaks of a mind caught in darkness beyond our imagining. This choice, unlike all others, cannot be un-chosen, altered, or changed.
This battle was lost to an insidious, unseen foe. It was the decision of a person desperate beyond all comprehension, someone so deep into the night that he couldn’t see the light of the love around him. Someone in a hell so solitary he didn’t realize his action damns those he loves to the anguish of a different hell.
We wonder, if we had done something different, would he still be here? It is a question without an answer, a hollow exercise in self-flagellation.
He is gone, and nothing we do can bring him home again.