Speaking of suffering and anger and confusion, I was incredibly moved by a post on a blog called “Old Lady’s Law Office and Kitchen Table” (to get to there click here) about a coworker’s death. Suicide.
She asks the questions aloud in a way that anyone who has ever lost a loved one or friend to suicide can appreciate. Here are the first four paragraphs of her post, “Tears On My Laptop.”
On Fridays, I work at home. This past Friday, I fired up my virtual connection to the office, opened up my work email and learned that a coworker had died. The email had been sent on Thursday after I left, and immediately, I called in to try to learn what had happened. Suicide. It goes without saying that the day went downhill from there. I spent the remainder of the work day in a mental fog, crying intermittently as I tried to write. When I wasn’t crying, or reading the email traffic about the availability of EAP counselors and the all-hands meeting for my office, I was on the phone with people from the office trying to make sense of what had happened.??
There’s no way that Jane’s (not her real name) death makes sense to me even now, and at present, I’m mad at her. When I’m not crying, that is. And I’m spending a lot of this weekend doing just that. I’ve known other people who’ve committed suicide, but I was closer to this woman than I was to those people. I can’t say that we were close friends, but we were friends and had been colleagues for nearly six years (I was hired at my current job in July 2002). Jane was actually one of my peer-interviewers when I applied for my job, and perhaps one of the reasons I accepted the job when offered.
And Jane and I shared some important commonalities. We both struggled with depression, and we both battled eating and weight issues. It’s the commonalities that make her self-induced death harder to accept, and like a lot of those left behind in any suicide, I wonder what might have prevented it.??
A couple of people I know have told me not to think this way. One told me that Jane’s passing was her choice and I couldn’t have done anything to stop it. The first part is definitely true, and I suppose that a person absolutely set on ending her life would be pretty much impossible to stop.??