A friend of ours took his own life this week. Just 36 years old, 3 fabulous boys, a beautiful wife, more money than he could spend…. and it wasn’t enough to keep him here on earth.
B was the kind of guy that was the center of every party. He told loud, hysterical stories with plenty of sidetracking and lots of body language. Movie producing was one of his hobbies. His wife is as quiet as he is boisterous and seemed to be an island of calm in their adventurous lives. The boys line up with mine so we exchanged birthday party invites and soccer coach duties. We weren’t particularly close because B’s idea of fun was a trip to the Bahamas for the weekend or a spontaneous jaunt to Boston to see a Red Socks game. Frankly, we could never keep up.
Undoubtedly, B was envied by many; he appeared to have it all. I now realize he was hiding a well of pain.
My heart absolutely breaks for his wife, his sweet boys and his extended family. I don’t know how you recover from that kind of pain. I can’t imagine telling my boys news like that— but I can see the thick dark cloud of grief that would shroud my heart.
I know some religious people believe that suicide is a sure ticket to hell– but I believe there is a beautiful, peaceful corner of heaven for souls torn with the pain of addictions, depression and sorrow. God is merciful and he knows that finding happiness and peace on earth is nearly impossible for some.
Life is hard. It’s hard in big ways and small ways. I’ve been planning my 20th high school reunion(no, I wasn’t a class officer; I was simply willing to build a website and book the venue) and I’ve been saddened by several emails from classmates that say, “I’m divorced/fat/gay/unsuccessful etc. and I don’t want to come.”
We are so hard on ourselves. We are so hard on each other. I pray for a day that we recognize that we’ve all been around the mulberribush a time or two and need to accept each other “as is.”
I don’t know what pain is resting in anyone’s heart. So I resolve once again to listen to the advice of my hero Marjorie Hinckley: “Be kind. Everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”