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Old 12-05-2004, 08:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I suppose 'Dying' belongs in Tilted Living...

...but those details really don't concern me at the moment.



I had a friend in elementary school named David. I used to go to his house to play commander keen and pinball back when windows 3.1 was a recent innovation. David and I had a rocky friendship; he sometimes got on my nerves just because he played a little too rough for me. When we were assigned to different classrooms in first grade, David begged to be transferred to my class, and he was moved.

One time, we were playing in my front yard with a section of metal pipe and we broke a piece of concrete from my front steps. I lied to my parents and said it was only his fault. I speculate that since his father was the type to use a belt, David probably got a small taste of hell for my lie.

Years later (about two years ago), we met with some mutual friends to go bowling. We pretty much got along but he called me a "perpetual liar" a couple times during the day. I said goodbye, and we left.

More recently I felt a growing desire to call him up, apologize for the event long ago, and ask for his forgiveness.

David had behavioral problems since he was small.

This evening (I still hadn't gotten around to calling), my mom told me something that I will remember until I die.

Last Monday, David's mother found him dead. David shot himself in the head with his grandfather's gun. It was his 16 year old sister's birthday.

Last edited by slimsam1; 12-05-2004 at 09:14 PM..
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Old 12-05-2004, 09:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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PS:

Watched some news on TV.

It made me realize and hold even more that football doesn't fucking matter one damn bit.
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Old 12-06-2004, 02:14 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Slim, there's not words to magically bring David back or instantly make everything ok... but know you still have a chance to let those still around you know David was important to you. My heart goes out to you... *hugs*
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Old 12-06-2004, 07:47 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Suicide is a choice that someone else makes. It wasn't your fault, you didn't cause it to happen. He made his choice, and I seriously doubt there is anything you could have said or done to stop him.

Like, amonkie, my heart goes out to you, for feeling so terribly, please don't feel any guilt, and to his family, especially his sister, who has to remember this on her birthday for the rest of her life.

Whatever demons David had, they were his alone... You are not to blame.

Hug your friends, tell them you care about them... Let people care about you.
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Old 12-06-2004, 07:57 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maleficent
Whatever demons David had, they were his alone... You are not to blame.
Gotta agree with that. That incident, all those years ago, was but a drop in the bucket for whatever hell that his life had become. I don't believe, for one moment, that the fact that it happened on his sister's birthday was a coincidence. There's a lot more, to the story of David's life, than the paragraph that included you.
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Old 12-06-2004, 09:53 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Suicide results from an individuals inability to handle the issues in their life. There was definitley more issues there than a broken piece of cement from years ago. It could be that his dad was abusive which, from my experience, is a big factor. There could be drug, drinking and dating problems. Having been distant from him for so long, there is probably tons of things that you just don't know about.

You are probably wondering why you started thinking about him right before this all occurred. Sadly, you will never know for sure. I know I tend to think about and miss the friends I had as a child and I think that the timing in your situation was a coincidence.
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Old 12-06-2004, 10:56 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks everyone. I know it's not my fault, but I think the "what if" thoughts cross everyone's mind when something like this happens. I don't blame myself; it's more that I regret not having made amends with him. I was pretty much in shock when I posted.
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Old 12-06-2004, 07:06 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Those "what ifs" are very, very normal.

That's the thing to keep in mind when death is on the table: whatever you're experiencing is very, very normal. Don't fight whatever feelings you might have about it--including apathy.

It's really easy to get yourself into a serious twist about how you should be feeling a certain way that you aren't, or shouldn't be feeling a certain way that you are.

And of course, even having thoughts like that is (say it with me) very, very normal.
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Old 12-06-2004, 07:39 PM   #9 (permalink)
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ratbastid, thanks for your reply.

Update: I learned that David left a note explaining that he felt he would never succeed in life. He recently lost a scholarship.
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Old 12-14-2004, 06:37 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Suicide is far too easy.

I remember perfectly. It was my 16th birthday. It was also the 5th anniversary of my Grandmother's funeral. Yes, the powers that be scheduled her fucking funeral on my birthday. I cared deeply for her, and her loss still affects me to this day, even understanding how how much of a blessing it was for her to pass - she put up a long battle with cancer.

Sorry, I got off track there....so I'm in the bathroom, having a shower - I was scheduled to go back to school that night to run the lighting for the Drama 30 annual play. And I thought to myself, what the fuck is the point? I was young....pissed off at the world....depressed, and it was compounded that I was what many others called a "loser" back in high school, which meant I really didn't have any friends - at least none that I trusted enough to confide in.

So I'm standing there, under the shower, realizing that there wasn't a fucking point. Or at least, thats what my fucked up teen mentality made me realize. So I climed out of the shower, and grabbed a knife I knew was in the drawer - one of those stupid scraping blades you can buy for a buck at those shitty dollar stores.

My tub had a ledge, and I sat down. I kept trying to come up with a reason to keep going, and I couldn't find anything. No girl - life at home sucked (not that my parents didn't try - but I was a rebellious teenager, and dad tried to go ultra-authoritarian on me, and I pushed back hard) - no car, no sight of the future.

Damn, looking back on it right now & re-hashing it - I'm amazed at how close I came. I wasn't gonna pussy out with a slit of the wrists - takes too much time. I rased the blade to my throat...going for the jugular (sp?)...

And stopped. I realized that despite everything I was needed that night. I made a promise to show up & run the lighting....sure someone else would have taken over, but I made a promise, and despite all the fucked up things in my life, I was a man of my word.

I got out - and went to do the damn drama production. And I don't know who spotted it, but somebody realized I wasn't quite right that night. Someone found out it was my birthday - and by the end of the production somebody took the time, energy, and imagination or organize a quickie party for me. Hell, the called me out on-stage and recognized the work I put in, and presented a birthday cake.

And something deep down snapped in me - I realized I wasn't alone - that there were people out there who gave a shit about me. Poor little insigifigant me. And suddenly the world wasn't such a fucked up place, and I didn't have such a fucked up life.

I went into councelling, and I worked through the shit I had bottled up for years. And life went on.

I still don't celebrate my birthday by choice, although I have kids now who want to make a big deal about it, so I play nice. But its still to easy to associate my birthday with death - and if I didn't have the support, and love, of those around me, I know I could easily fall back into the life that almost was lost - but thankfully I do have that.

I know, this rambled on and on, but the topic stirred up alot of shit in the back of my brain, and I've learnt that sometimes it just needs to be let out.

To the original poster - I want you to know you were in no way responsible for the suicide of this person - suicide is a dark road with too few off-ramps, and once someone finds themselves on it, very very little will bring them out of it. In my opinion as someone who stared into the abyss, it was only myself that could pull me back from the edge. I knew many others, and one friend in particular, who couldn't find a path out - and I know that it was not a single event, but a multitude in a line that he felt he couldn't recover from, which caused him to give up.

My heart goes out to you - its easy to feel responsibility for the actions of others. I seriously recommend you speak to someone about it, and let your feelings about it out.

Sorry for the rambling post everyone - if you made it this far, treat yourself to a nice frosty adult beverage. I think I'm gonna need one too tonight when I get home.

Sammy
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Old 12-14-2004, 06:52 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Now back on topic:
As others have said slimsam1, you can't dwell on the what ifs. This poor young man had issues that were beyond your control. even people who are seeing trained professionals sometimes reach a point that they feel they can no longer cope and turn to suicide. You can't place any of this blame on yourself.
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Last edited by phredgreen; 12-17-2004 at 06:10 PM..
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Old 12-17-2004, 09:25 AM   #12 (permalink)
Crazy
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Psycho Dad
[yadda yadda ...]
Thanks, everyone. This chapter of my life is pretty much finished now. I don't feel guilty, but I'll always feel sad about what happened.

The replies that were posted in this thread concreted my already solid belief that this is the most respectable forum on the internet.

Oh, and Samalie: you need not apologize for such a thoughtful and interesting post. Thank you.

Last edited by slimsam1; 12-17-2004 at 09:28 AM..
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Old 12-29-2004, 05:54 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I know this is mostly closed, but I would like to remind you that you cannot drive a car by looking in the rear-view mirror. You may have made an error, it is past. It's certainly okay to mourn the passing of a former friend, but since you know the error, simply do not repeat it.

Peace to you.
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