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I don’t know what to say.
I don’t know what to think.
I am shattered. Heartbroken.
All the cliches are true. Every. Single. One.

***

Ben was easier to process. I knew the names of his demons. I knew where they hid. It didn’t hurt any less (do you hear me, Ben, you motherfucker? Do you know that I still miss you every day you’re not here?), but it didn’t send me reeling.

This? All I have are questions. I think:
If he could do this, who’s next? Who else do I know who is holding such unspeakable grief inside?
Was it money? Sex? Drugs? Something that can move the needle to explicable?

***

I’ve been fairly useless for the past three days. I take my girl to playgroup and to school and to eat Chinese food, and I think:

What’s wrong with our culture? What did we do to make him feel so alone? Why do we place the trappings of success above our own well-being?
Was this a wake up call? A warning? To who?

***

On Monday, NPR ran a bit about a health care plan aiming for a zero suicide rate. They screen for depression, are proactive about treatment. I think:

Would this have helped?
Would this net even have caught him?

***

I still believe, passionately, in the right to suicide. Deciding not to live is the ultimate act of self determination. Who am I to make that decision for someone else?

And yet. I think:

If there had been someone to listen, would he still have thought this the only option?
If we talked about this, if we made space for depression and anger and fear of failure (or of success or of life itself), would he still have jumped?

***

We cannot help but continue on. The hole doesn’t always close, but the edges smooth.

***

I unpacked some boxes yesterday, trying to regain some sense of order. Of control. I think:

If you’re reading this, I love you. I care about you. I would miss you.
If you need a hand to hold, you’ve got mine.