Thursday, December 1, 2011

A personal struggle to understand....

A few days ago, I became aware of circumstances surrounding the death of a co-worker, a death which had rocked our company and shaken many people within who were close or worked closely with him.  During the weeks that followed his death, people struggled to come to terms with their personal loss and mechanisms were put in place by the company senior leadership to support us during this time.  The outpouring of love during this time of grief was tremendous, both from co-workers and clients.  This person was admired, well-respected and indeed loved by so many people, including their chosen significant other and their family. That is why this new awareness has been so difficult for me to personally come to terms with - this person committed suicide.

If there were so many people in this world who were so willing to express their love, respect and gratitude for this person in their grief, why is it that this happened?  With such a huge circle of what seems to be support and love, what happened to make this person feel that the only thing that could be done was abruptly leave them all?  What deep pain, desperation, or feeling of emptiness causes a person to think that nothingness would be better than what they are enduring now?

I am personally struggling -- from the outside view, this person "had it all".  Handsome, successful, had "all the toys", travelled extensively, had a significant other that both worked and played with him, who appeared to be very connected on all levels.  There were no cracks in the armour, no indications that the life he led was anything less than "awesome".  I guess that is what is making me so anguished about this -- how are you to know when there are no obvious signs that someone is struggling?

I am also struggling with the possibility that he never knew how much he was admired, respected and loved.  In the day to day turmoil of life, the expressions of appreciation for people are often the first things that go by the wayside.  Working hard, head down every day, it can be easy to hear all the negative and criticism, especially when the expressions of gratitude, respect and love are less frequent and often hard to come by.  If I take anything away from this it will be this:  I make an oath to myself that every day I will tell the people that I care about, love and admire that they are important to me.  I don't ever want to have to labour over these terrible feelings and thoughts about people who mean something to me in my life ever again.

With lingering sadness, I close....