I just got the news. There are a string of emotions that are being tugged through my head via a stunned heart. From bewilderment to frustration to guilt, sadness, and even fear. There are even some notable emotions that I can’t even think of the names.
Bewildered about the suddenness of your passing and how you passed is an even bigger shock. Though I didn’t have years to get to know you, you sir were an amazing man to say the least. I know at first I can be at times a little stand-offish I did get to know you enough to like and trust you. When work called you were on your way. I remember just a couple of weeks ago you were 10 miles from your house and the call came in. You didn’t “Pass Go”. You flipped that big truck around at the Gotebo turnoff and back to work you went. No questions asked, you just did it. You were always reliable in that classic fashion.
I can pretend to understand what goes through a person’s head when they are contemplating suicide, but in reality I don’t get it. I don’t understand why some people believe that just ending their life in mid-stride is a plus, especially when they are going through a bad streak. The hurt that is felt and the pain that is experienced can only help you to become stronger, more experienced, more sure of yourself. Yet, I don’t know. Like I said I cannot even find a place to start when trying to understand why.
It feels weird to have to say but I feel it to be true, suicide is one of the most selfish acts a person can do. It doesn’t fix anything. It doesn’t end the pain. It doesn’t fix a damn thing. It causes unanswerable questions to sprout up. It causes unjust pain to those who you care for, and who love and adore you back. When your little boy asks, “Why…” His mom, the woman who he looks to for all the answers, will not have one. Who is to be his male influence in his life? It sure as hell ain’t going to be you. Not, anymore. That one man, who he will need in the future, he can’t even talk to on the telephone. In a way you stole from your little boy’s future. He is going to need you and you bowed out.
Frustration, as you can see, is going through my weary bean this late night. Because of what is in the previous paragraph but also because I didn’t see this suicide coming. Nobody saw this suicide coming. Granted most people, including myself, never expect suicide. Most people, who are going to kill themselves, just do it. Everyone is shocked. Everyone who would have said that you mattered to their life is shocked. Again suicide is a selfish act. The loved ones never get a chance to help. Your wife would have arisen to the challenge of helping her man. That’s what wives do. We men, fix the physical, while the women fix the emotional. They are good at that. God, made them good at that, and who would have been the better choice than the person who vowed to help you through “better or for worse”.
Frustration because I would of helped, the other drivers at work would have listened. I know I am often absorbed in my podcast listening when driving, but when the breaks are set the latest episode is stopped and you could have talked about anything. I like to listen to other peoples stories. Almost as much as I like talking. All it would of taken was a, “So what’s going on?” or maybe I could of stepped out of my cab and walked over to yours and struck up a conversation. Maybe I gave off the impression that I was not accessible. Was there anything I could have done? I know I could of payed more attention. I never made the claim that I was an observant person, but I could have at least opened that channel of communication. Let you know that there is an ear that will listen to you whenever you need it. That is a Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda
The guilt is an odd feeling. Because I didn’t know you but maybe a year. I never would have expected you to invite me over for to your house for hamburgers or anything like that. But I still feel a sting of guilt. I should have done more. Your life, sir, mattered. I would like to think that I could have helped to ensure you would still show up at the shop with that big grin full of snuff. I would like to believe there was something I could have done to make sure you voice would still be heard over that CB radio. Cause you were always more than willing to help each of us out. I should have returned the favor. Yet, is there anything I really could have done to help you out? Probably not. And I really don’t see why I should be blaming myself, yet I do. In some weird 6 degrees of separation, self-entitled Superman kind of way, I should have helped. That I why I am having a hard time understanding, why I feel guilty as to not helping you. It’s as if I should have had the foresight to see all the little tell-tale hints and clue of what you were thinking. Maybe I should have been nosier and asked about your life and your family more. Could I have foreseen any of it? Is there anything I really could have done? I don’t know. I will never know. Though I could have made an effort. I could have taken the time. Maybe there could have been something to prevent this senseless, selfish act of suicide from happening.
The guilt of not helping your son from losing his deity. That poor boy. How can he be helped? How do you explain to a baby that his dad has gone away forever? How do we, as a group, comfort that pain that your wife is now wrought with? How does a community deal with the loss of one of their sons? The Coworkers at the job, we will never get to see you again. The sorrow that is felt because believe it or not your life mattered. You had a special place in each person’s heart. Everyone you knew, and mattered to you cared for your happiness. Truck 21 needs a driver, a good driver, such as yourself. To not be able to hear the smile in your voice is something that will be missed. To not be able to hear the random dirty joke that gets everybody grinning. That too is lost. The happiness you brought was like a drink of cold water straight from the pump. Need, and refreshing, and boy could I use one of your jokes right now.
Though my sadness that is felt will one day ease it will not fully disappear. I will see something that is totally you and will have to brace myself for that unpleasant emotion to charge back in for a while, only to take its time to saunter off. The Fear of facing that is real. The fear of who of my fellow brothers at work are also suffering. Who else is also facing a hard time that seems insurmountable? Can I even help them? Is there a way for me communicate to each person that they matter? Help them to understand that they are important? Just as George Bailey mattered to so many people. You matter too. Yes you dear reader. You are important. It is not selfish to have value in your life. Whether you are getting picked on at school, or a married man whose wife said she is done and moved out. It is not the end. Yeah the pain and anguish are so great. The feeling of that broken heart will cause a torrent of tears to fall. Yet, as the saying goes, this too shall pass.
“It can’t rain all the time” had more than one meaning. All you have to do is talk. Yeah it is awkward to start a conversation at times and the fear of maybe going to a hospital is extremely scary. But the pain and hurt, is similar to working out. The soreness you feel afterwards can be enough to keep you from working out ever again. But if you press though it. The soreness will ease and you will be stronger, and healthier because of that pain. Don’t minimize your life. Your life matters. To your family. Even if your family sucks, and you came from an abusive home. I bet you knew one relative that was kind. You have your friends. They care for you and look forward to seeing you around. You make their life more enjoyable.
Your life even matters to those who don’t like you. Yes, it is true, and the best way to get back at those miserable people that make your life hell is to stay around and annoy the heck out of them.
Who else is out there? This person I talk about is a real man I can give out all the great inspiring clichés that have been around since Stone Age. But no matter how dark the night is before the dawn or that light at the end of the tunnel may seem just too far away. It does get better you just have to have faith that it will get better. If you came across this post because you have been thinking of suicide. Call the Hotline they will not ridicule you and they are there so you can find your happiness again. So you mother, brother, wife child, best friend, or co-worker doesn’t have to wonder why, or could they of done something. Be as selfless as you can and grasp the truth that you matter to people. Multiple people. So love them as much as they love you. IF you like you can’t go on double check with 1 (800) 273-8255 and see what they think. That number will tell you whether you matter or not.