I try to keep this blog on a positive note, even with the twisted nature of the profession I've chosen I can usually find at least some dark humor in things, but today has been a hard day. We're coming up on exactly one year since Big Man died, we're at six months since losing my friend Brent to cancer, and working on the third month since another friend took his own life. I've always had a temper, but I've been struggling with irrational rage over this suicide. He and I had been friends since I was in high school. He was actually my first boyfriend. We only dated a few months, but we stayed in touch afterward, I was just young and didn't want to be tied to anyone. I'm not the best about staying in touch, but we generally got together once or twice a year and talked on the phone once in a while in between, which is doing pretty good considering I've lived in a different time zone since I graduated from high school. He was a hard-luck case, struggling through life, often due to poor choices and too much beer. It could just as easily been me if I hadn't gotten a good college scholarship and had some other lucky breaks. Rationally, I know that there isn't anything I could have done to save my friend...but the irrational part of my mind is unrelenting.
One part of my mind is angry that I didn't stay in closer touch with him. It had been nearly a year since we had talked. Another friend actually talked to him the night of the suicide, though, and had no indication of what was coming. I know that my opinion still held some sway on my friend, and if I had known the hell he must have been in, with alcohol and hopelessness, I could have pushed him on through the low parts.
Another part of my mind is absolutely furious with him for choosing this route. I want to physically shake him and curse him for leaving us. I want to tell him that he was acting like an emotional teenager. I want to tell him to grow the hell up and be there for the people who need him in their lives. Through the course of our friendship, we both did stupid things. I thought he knew that I was always going to be a friend to him, whatever he had done or needed. We lose enough good people too early due to accidents and illness, checking out the way he did was absolute bullshit. I won't say there wasn't a time that I considered suicide, but my good friends got me to the other side and helped me see that I could survive anything if I just kept moving.
I guess if I were into pop psychology, I would say that I lack closure over my friend's death. I received the news over the phone the morning after it happened and it was like a punch in the gut. I never got a chance to say goodbye or tell him he was being stupid. The other recent deaths I've dealt with aren't easy, but at least they both knew things were winding down. They had done what they could to put it off, they were simply out of options. Their family and friends were as prepared as you can ever be to have a piece of your life ripped out. It's just the abject wastefulness of losing my friend to a self-inflicted gunshot that pisses me off.