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Posted: 8/17/2007 6:10:58 AM EDT
My cousin, who was a great friend all my life and more like my brother, passed away on Monday morning.  He kissed his wife goodbye just like any other workday, and then he went to the garage and took his own life.  He was 30 years old.  He and his wife had just had their first son two months ago.  None of us saw it coming, and we've all been devastated, his parents and wife, especially.

The funeral was yesterday, and we're all doing what we can to get through this one step at a time.  I guess I just don't know what to do next other than to just try to put it behind me and ease back into the routine, but I guess I don't really know how.  It'll be even harder because we also worked together, and his desk was right next to mine.  I've taken the week off from work, and I don't really know how I'm going to feel seeing his desk when I get back.

I guess what bothers me the most is that we'll never know why.  He didn't leave a note, so we're just left to guess.  He and his wife had argued more often than I think a couple should, and they might not have had the happiest marriage, but no one, including her, had any idea he was in so much pain.  He was always a very private person, and he pretty much never discussed anything really personal about his feelings or any kind of deep thoughts, at least not with me or our circle of friends.

His wife was practically a zombie afterwards, and I know she didn't eat for at least two days.  She blames herself, and she's afraid that I and all our friends hate her now.  And I have to admit that I did blame her for at least a brief time right after it happened.  But I've come to realize that I have no way of knowing what happened.  For all we know, he'd been depressed and hiding it for a long time and that is what caused some of their problems.

I guess we'll never know.  Maybe he felt he couldn't be a father, or maybe he just thought his life wasn't going the way he thought it should, or maybe he really was driven to it by his wife.  I just wish I could talk to him for five minutes.  I'd hug him so tight I wouldn't want to let him go, then I'd probably slap him in the face and yell at him.

After the funeral, she did seem better.  We actually got her to laugh a few times, and she later told my wife in private that she has to focus on the baby now.  The funeral is over, and she feels she's taken care of her husband.  Now she has to take care of herself and her son.   I know she's going to be hurting for a long time, but we're glad she does seem to be making some progress.

I actually felt a little better myself yesterday evening.  Maybe what they say about closure is true.  But it still feels really weird talking about him in the past-tense, and I'm always afraid to mention him for fear of bringing things down.  Bedtime is the worst though.  I can't stop thinking about him, and I haven't been able to sleep much since Monday.  Last night was a little better.  Maybe because it's getting better, or maybe just that I was so tired I couldn't help but sleep.

It all really hit me last night.  I was holding his baby (the first time I really had), and he was smiling and gurgling.  I just stopped and thought, "How could he leave this?  This kid needs him, and he left him."  We were all just together Saturday night and Sunday night to celebrate my birthday.  He was laughing and having a good time just like always.  He loved to laugh, and he always had a great boyish spirit.  I guess that's why this is so much harder to understand.

I just know I'll miss him terribly.

I'm sorry to dump all this out there, but I'm just sitting here at home today, and I guess I just need to get some thoughts off my chest.  If you're still reading, thank you.  
Link Posted: 8/17/2007 6:12:18 AM EDT
"Probably most catastrophes end this way
without an ending, the dead
not even knowing how they died...
those who loved them forever questioning
"this unnecessary death", and the rest of us
tiring of this inconsolable catastrophe
and turning to the next one.

Norman Maclean, Young Men and Five
Link Posted: 8/17/2007 6:12:37 AM EDT
I'm really sorry to hear that.
Link Posted: 8/17/2007 6:13:21 AM EDT
Hang in there bud.  You have friends that will listen any time you need to talk.
Link Posted: 8/17/2007 6:13:38 AM EDT
Sorry about your loss.

Link Posted: 8/17/2007 6:14:41 AM EDT
Very sorry to read this.  Prayers to your family.
Link Posted: 8/17/2007 6:15:33 AM EDT
First, I am so sorry for your loss.

Second, do NOT "just try to put it behind me" as you're going to need time to mourn and recover.  That's normal, and if you don't allow yourself to go through the grieving process you can make yourself worse off in the long run.

Finally, your cousin's wife is going to need a ton of help and support to get through this.  She may try to push the family away since she's feeling guilty.  Don't let her.

Prayers for your family.
Link Posted: 8/17/2007 6:17:01 AM EDT
Very sorry for you and your family.

Your job is to give that baby a little extra loving as it grows up.
Link Posted: 8/17/2007 6:18:20 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/17/2007 6:19:23 AM EDT
Wow I'm sorry bud

We're here for ya if you want to talk more.....and if you want to talk more behind the scenes, theres always IM and Email!
Link Posted: 8/17/2007 6:23:22 AM EDT
Sorry man.

Hopefully in death your cousin found whatever peace he lacked in life.  I can't imagine the inner demons someone fights to consider suicide as a viable answer.

Be there for his wife and child.
Link Posted: 8/17/2007 7:29:10 AM EDT

I'm very sorry for your loss.

When someone commits suicide, I believe it is usually evidence of mental illness.  It is not "natural" to do harm to oneself.

If it was a case of being mentally unbalanced, it will be impossible for us to "understand" what went wrong.  It will not "make sense".

I will pray for you and your family.

Just posting +1 doesn’t seem appropriate here. But Old Painless just said what I was going to say better than I could have.

It’s no ones fault, just an undetected mental disease. It might as well have been a sudden heart attack for all the blame that could be attached to it.

Prayers sent.
Link Posted: 8/17/2007 7:29:42 AM EDT
I'm sorry for your loss. Hang in there and always remember, it's good to talk about him.  Try remembering him in the good times and try not to focus on the bad.  

Mom and son are going to need tons of support.  As others have said, no one will probably ever know why he did it so, if at all possible, don't obsess yourself with figuring it out.  Just try to remember him for the good friend he was.

Link Posted: 8/17/2007 7:34:39 AM EDT
Very sorry for your loss. The fact that he didn't leave a note nor clue makes it even worse. Hopefully one day you'll find the 'reason'.

A psychologist once explained suicide in these terms:

Suicide is a desperate defence of one's identity in the face of encroaching chaos and terror of psychological annihilation. It is to choose physical death over psychological change.

May he rest in peace.
Link Posted: 8/17/2007 7:35:09 AM EDT
Sorry for your loss. That's all I can think of to say. How sad.
Link Posted: 8/17/2007 7:48:08 AM EDT


I'm very sorry for your loss.

When someone commits suicide, I believe it is usually evidence of mental illness.  It is not "natural" to do harm to oneself.

If it was a case of being mentally unbalanced, it will be impossible for us to "understand" what went wrong.  It will not "make sense".

I will pray for you and your family.

Wise words here.

I also believe in the healing properties of time itself.  It may be hard for a while but this too shall pass.

Your cousin is in a better place now.  I would leave judgements in the hands of God, who I believe will be more loving and understanding than any of us can imagine in regards to these circumstances.

I believe all this to be true. I would also add, from personal experience, that you and your family should not blame yourselves or feel guilty for not having known. We are trained from a very young age to hide what we really feel in order to fit into society. I can assure with all my heart that his last thoughts were of the people he loved and he truly believed he was doing the right thing. He would not want you to have any other memories of him but the good ones.

PM if you would like to talk.
Link Posted: 8/17/2007 8:18:56 AM EDT
If he didn't leave a note, how is everybody so sure it was suicide, and not an accident, or murder?

(not that it would change your grief much.  It just sounds like a strange event)

Hang in there.  

Just try to keep busy with the mundane tasks of everyday life.  After a year, or five, you don't think about it as much.

Link Posted: 8/17/2007 8:43:09 AM EDT
Prayers for his family

.....and yours.
Link Posted: 8/17/2007 8:48:08 AM EDT
I am saddened to hear news like this.  I will say a prayer for you and your family, A_C.
Link Posted: 8/17/2007 9:50:27 AM EDT

If he didn't leave a note, how is everybody so sure it was suicide, and not an accident, or murder?

(not that it would change your grief much.  It just sounds like a strange event)

Those possibilities all occurred to us, but none of them added up.  We're convinced it was a suicide.
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