I just learned this morning that an acquaintance of mine from more than 15 years ago took his own life last month. Why am I so sad? I wasn’t this man’s best friend; I never sat and shared pizza with him and talked about nothing in particular. Why does the news of his death disturb me so? Would news of his death have been any different had he died of a heart attack or been killed in the line of duty. The only reason I found out is through a common friend, a former supervisor of mine who also knew him.
According to an account I read online he took his life after resigning his position in law enforcement a few days earlier.
I met him in the early 1990s when working as a newspaper reporter and photographer. I interviewed him and rode along with him on patrol once. He seemed like a regular nice-guy back then. He was funny.
I guess there’s just some things we’re not meant to know. I guess I can only empathize with the pain he must have been in and the dark place he was in prior to his decision as I’ve stared at that dark door and had to make the choice to enter or turn away. I can pray for his family and for his co-workers who knew him. That’s really all I can do. Somehow that seems so inadequate in light of this news.
Just a bit of advice: don’t take friendships or relationships for granted. Be that friend to someone, even if you don’t feel like it at the time. You never know what kind of an impact you might have.