Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Depression kills

I recently renewed a friendship with a college friend, thanks to Facebook.  We hadn't been in contact in over twenty years.  Yesterday, I understand, he died by his own hand, a victim of lifelong depression.

He was not my closest friend, but that was more my fault than his.  I got on nerves in college, and set teeth on edge.  I was depressed, you see, and that made for an unpleasant personality.  My friend Nick, though, didn't allow it to put him off entirely.

I guess I understand now that he understood me better than I did myself.  He recognized in my the struggles he also faced.

The struggles that, at 43, finally did him in.

It scares the crap out of me to think that a man that so many loved, that so many relied on, that so many thought of as happy and kind, should succumb to this disease.  What about the rest of us?  If Nick fell, what can the rest of us hope for?

This is not my best day, so forgive me.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Terrence,
I wanted to post my sympathies to you on the loss of your friend. Please don't beat yourself up because you weren't his best friend; you were his friend and that is a great deal. It's obvious that you cared about him as you are grieving now.

Recently, I became aware that the moderator of a radio program I have listened to since 1976 died in February. I've spent more than a few days mouring his loss as I felt he was almost a friend: he encouraged and comforted - he understood. I've also deeply regretted that I had not - once - sent him a note to thank him for his faithfulness in recording this program for so many years. Not a note; not an email; not a telephone call.

I can't bring him back and "do it over", but I can be more thoughtful about thanking and encouraging those who remain in my life's circle - near and far.

If you can resolve to learn from this experience that has brought you regret, your friend's life - and untimely death - will not have been in vain.

God bless you for your heart and work.