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Old 01-02-2007, 12:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
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How not to start a new year.

2007 has just barely begun and I have regrets already.

My oldest friend (16 years since high school) called me New Years Eve and said he just wanted to talk. He's been going through a pretty rough patch, his wife left him not to long ago and he lost his job just before Christmas. Since he moved out of state we have kept in touch by phone, but lately more and more time passes between calls. I talked to him for a few minutes. My bother and his wife were over at my house and my brother was telling a great story about his work. I tried to divide my attention between my friend on the phone and my brother, my brother got a lot more attention than my friend. After a few minutes I told my friend that I'd call him back later because I had guests over, I said "Talk to you later" he simply said "Bye"

A few hours later my mother-in-law called to tell us that my wife's grandma died. Needless to say the New Years celebration that we planned kind of ended then. My brother left to celebrate with other people and left us to just spend some time together.

I got a call today from my friends ex wife, he was found dead by a neighbor this morning. He killed himself by sitting in his garage with the car running.

I know there is no way I could have known how things would play out, but I can't help but think that I let my friend down just so I could have a party that never happened. Would it have hurt me to spend some more time on the phone? Couldn't I have realized how hard the holidays must have been for him? I feel horrible.

My wife's grandma's funeral is the same day as my friends. Hers is in Utah, his is in Alaska. Since I had promised grandma that I would sing at her funeral there is no way I can attend my friends funeral.

If there is a bright siade to all this, it's that the year can only go up from here.
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Old 01-02-2007, 01:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I am so sorry to hear that you have to endure this pain. There is nothing anyone can say or do to help really, but give support and help you through this time by letting you go through the mourning process.

I know, from experience, how you can be racked with guilt after a death when you think that you could have prevented it from happening or helped in some way. But that is unfair to you and you must realize that it is not your fault.

I learned that I finally had to let it go. After beating myself up for years, I realized that what is done and done and there is nothing I can do to change the past. However, I try to prevent anything like that from happening now by being a better friend. You never know what is going to happen or how long any of us have on this Earth.

*hugs* Things will get better and I send you the strength to overcome these times.
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Old 01-02-2007, 01:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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it's not your fault. the actions that others choose are *their* actions.

*hug*
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Old 01-02-2007, 06:54 PM   #4 (permalink)
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You couldn't know, people are not expected to be mind readers.

Most importantly... what he did, he did for himself and himself only. You cannot have guilt over the personal choices of others.

If you did talk to him, and he took his life, you'd wonder why you didn't do a better job... or if he did it suddenly without calling, you'd wonder if it'd been different if you'd kept in touch more... that line of thinking can go as far back as your mind can take it... but that doesn't make any of it relevant.

People looking to commit suicide often reach out to someone before they do it... hoping that whoever is the last person they talk to will save them. We cannot always know their intentions, and it's a selfish and mean expectation to place on another person without their knowledge. That's not meant as mean, but suicide is a selfish act. Sometimes, they reach out to a total stranger, hoping that somehow they'll see what they're about to do and "stop" them.

You can't agonize over not having pieced it all together like a puzzle. Your hindsight, now that you know the outcome, is 20/20- you did not have this perspective before, when on the phone with him.

Grieve as you will, but he took his baggage with him... don't hold onto any of it for yourself.
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Old 01-03-2007, 07:26 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thank you for your support, I know your all right, but it still hurts. Thanks
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