Becky Says...

June 2005

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Joy and Peace - June 8

My friend who is in recovery is celebrating his one-year anniversary of sobriety today. I continue to be very proud of him. It is a pleasure for me to hear him speak of having the rest of his life to really live, with joy in his voice. And he will live it, one moment at a time. He is grateful for the opportunity, which he sees as nothing short of a miracle.

* * * * * * * * * * *

A return to the theme from last week. In writing to Patrick regarding the recent death of Jayce, who was a family friend, I was reminded of a friend of mine's suicide, over eleven years ago now.

The November I turned 40, and was spending a lot of time with my mother after her first stroke, two people I knew in Chapel Hill killed themselves. No one saw either of these deaths coming. I didn't know one of the men all that well, so I won't go into his story, But from business connections, the other man and I were friends.

The man I knew better, M., was a businessman in town. He was also one of the most utterly beautiful men I've ever seen...dark hair and eyes, and a crinkly twinkly smile. Had a gorgeous wife, a successful business, a lot of friends, and seemed to have everything to live for.

But he also had just changed antidepressants. And apparently that was his last straw. Either the new meds didn't work, or they didn't work the right way, or something. Whatever was wrong convinced M. that life was no longer worth the living.

So, on a Thursday morning when the air was chilly and the sky a brilliant blue, he left town. Without saying he was leaving, he took off for a forested area in the eastern part of the state (several hours away) where he frequently went hunting. He took with him his shotgun, and shot himself after getting far enough away from the leased Suburban he was driving that there was no need to clean the vehicle.

Eventually, we learned about the antidepressant change. And people who saw him the last few days of his life said he was quite serene. Those of us who understand such things figure he had already made his plans and his peace with them.

To this day, it bothers me that he's dead. But hearing about the last few days and the serenity gave me some peace with the loss. It's not okay that M. is dead, but I know he definitely wanted to be. I hope he found the peace in death that was missing from his life.

I hope the same is true for Jayce.

Text © copyright 2000-2005 Becky