Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Result of a Loss

When I was a teenager, I had a phase when I questioned what it would be like if I died. I wondered who would care, and what would happen. I didn't have self-destructive behaviors, but knew plenty of classmates who did. There were times when I felt I would rather die.

I didn't see the point of life's hardship. The circus of striving and achieving, only to realize there was more work to do. The never-ending game of trying to be better. Our culture's way of seeing more as better, nothing ever good enough.

A lot of these things bothered David, too. How could some people in the world endure a life of suffering, while others live one of luxurious ignorance? Why do some struggle to have their basic needs met, while others go about with an excessive lifestyle?

For me, I found my happy medium somewhere in the grey area. I seek a healthy balance of moderation and simplicity. I try to be aware of my blessings, and do what I can to turn these privileges for good.

David was similar although I don't know that it ever came easy to him. I witnessed a constant distress regarding the injustices of the world. There was an ever-present anxiety about the rat race of life. He continually was striving for better, and I'm not sure he ever felt it was good enough.

When his second episode of depression returned after believing the first was triggered by environmental factors, I believe David was terrified.

He didn't fit the mold for someone who would be depressed. In fact, depression was so opposite David that I now wonder if he struggled with it more than we knew. It's possible he struggled with it more than even he knew.

Maybe his tendencies for depression pushed him to fight with opposite characteristics. Instead of laying in bed all day, David would busy himself with activity. His mind and body were always working: reading, exercising, socializing, etc; David was go-getting and life-loving.

I believe the second episode caught him off guard, with his defenses down. So overwhelmingly painful, it was impossible for him to see outside of it. I think that David felt helpless. No matter how proactive he was: working out every day, eating right, being social, etc. the depression could still come and knock him off his feet.

Maybe he couldn't see the point. David lost sight of all he had done, all he had, and could only see the illness. It was all-encompassing and he was hopeless.

In a book I am reading, No Time to Say Goodbye, the author writes that suicide is often the result of a loss. For some it might follow a separation from spouse, loss of a job, etc. but for many it is the loss of the will to fight.

I empathize with David's feelings: he didn't deserve his illness, and yet he had it. It pains me to think of his pain and fear. As much as is possible, I understand his despair.

In a way, my grief is selfish. I know that he has found peace, yet I am here talking about my great loss.

I am thankful that David does not feel the pain anymore. I am thankful that he does not have to live in fear of another episode knocking him to the ground. I am thankful for his fight and his example. Most of all, I love him. I will always love him.

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