149. Suicide and Depression

I had a very good friend commit suicide two years ago. I’ll call him Larry. Larry was the last person I would have ever expected to take his own life. He came from a close-knit family and had a close-knit family of his own, and many good friends. I rarely saw him when he wasn’t smiling and joking around in a genuine way that, reflecting back, I don’t see as a cover-up for some hidden interior turmoil. He was a strong Christian whose love of God was the primary focus of his life, and he had retired from a long career of teaching and was financially well off. Larry had it all.

Then something happened I really can’t explain. Larry had made a minor mistake on the tax form for a business he owned with his son. He told me what the mistake was and that he had corrected it with the IRS, but it was haunting him. “Pat, I know it was not significant, but I can’t get it out of my mind. It is like a voice that won’t shut up. I have been depressed and anxious for several weeks now, even when we were meeting for breakfast with Jerry last week.”

From that point, there was a rapid deterioration in my friend. He was hospitalized several times; in one instance, he didn’t recognize his own family when they visited him. We talked on the phone several times, and I prayed with him. I thought I could help him because I had been where he was just three years before that.  Then one day he went out to the garage and hung himself. I was devastated.

On my next blog, I’ll explain my understanding of depression and suicide.

About Patrick Day

triumphoverdepression.org This blog is my ministry to support those who are depressed, in gratefulness for my having overcome major depression. Read "About Patrick Day" just to the right of "home" on the top of the blog site to find out more particulars about me. I retired from a career in higher education, where I served as Dean of Instruction, and promptly moved into a life of purposelessness and despair for five years, finally coming out on the other side. I am now an author, a business and life coach, a writer of this blog, and a volunteer for various organizations. What I write about in this blog is not hypothetical comments on depression. I have been there, felt the horrible pain, had my life disrupted, and experienced everything that I write about. I pray that I may be a blessing to you.
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