Today I learned that an old friend had been identified as the body found in a pond in Deerfield, Illinois yesterday. We had last talked in February. He contacted me because he was very depressed and had been experiencing suicidal thoughts. We talked for a long time. He was unemployed and about to lose his home. We talked about the reality of his situation as well as the self-defeating assumptions he was making about it.
We had met in 2001 when he became my manager at work. We quickly became friends outside of work too. He even had roles in a two short films I made. A couple of years later, he looked out for me at a time when I was extremely depressed. I was often bawling in my office cubicle. He would get me out of the office, take walks with me, make plans to get together on weekends, visit me at home… he was a great and caring friend and certainly one of the coolest bosses anyone could ever hope to have.
For the last month, I kept having the urge to reach out to him. I wanted to see how he was doing, but I kept putting it off. I’m disappointed in him. I’m also disappointed in me. I ignored my intuition. That is why I’m disappointed in me. I didn’t want him to feel like I was checking up on him and decided to let him reach out to me if he wanted to talk about anything. He didn’t. He knew that he could, but he didn’t. That is why I’m disappointed in him.
For anyone like me that walks a path that has them meeting depressed and suicidal people, you know you can’t “save” everyone. I knew when I decided to be open about my experiences with depression and suicide attempts that I’d meet people who would never embrace life. But I never thought it would be someone who had helped me so much when I was so low. I feel that I have failed horribly in returning that favor.
Don’t wait. Don’t delay. Don’t take ANYONE in your life for granted. When somebody crosses your mind, get in touch with them. Better to find it was nothing than to learn you ignored some silent cry for help.
God bless you, Brian.
Love and Light,