Wednesday, January 24, 2007

An Awkward Conversation

She came over and settled down into the couch next to me. For a while, we ambled over comfortable subjects and revisited topics that we had hashed out long ago. Then she mentioned an acquaintance that I had met when I first moved to the Springs.

"Remember Nate?"

"Yeah, he was one of Teddy's friends right? Glasses, dark brown hair..."

"Yeah, that's him. Well...," There was a long pause as she shifted uncomfortably, "He died Jamie, about 2 weeks ago."

I swallowed hard and hurriedly looked away. What do you say when you knew someone only as an acquaintance? The last time I saw him was at church and even then I had a hard time placing his face with some other place else that I knew well.

"How?"

She sighed. "It was suicide"

Multiple questions flooded my brain. "Was there a note? Was he depressed? When was the funeral? How does Teddy feel?"

But for some reason I couldn't ask any of them. The questions ran from my brain and trickled into my heart.

Whenever people die, it's a shock, a suprise. It feels as if they are suddenly snatched away and there's nothing we can do to stop it.

But suicide's different. The person chooses to end their life. And while it's a shock and suprise to those around the victim, there's also an overwhelming sense of guilt.

A sense of guilt that in some possible way we could have done something to stop it.

I didn't know Nate well, but the guilt is still there.

2 comments:

Kristy said...

Jamie,
I am sorry to hear about the death of one of your acquaintences. I know all about the guilt that comes after someone's suicide. One of my best friends killed himself about six years ago. I still feel the guilt today. You have my number if you want to chat.

Love,
Kristy

shinbone #4 said...

Oh Jamie... I know that guilt. Sometimes it's made worse BECAUSE you didn't know the person well. Makes me wonder if anyone did. OR if, maybe we had made an effort to make an acquaintence feel loved it wouldn't have happened. I have to remind myself guilt isn't from God though. I pray that God still drew that person to him even in their last moment... That they chose Him.

Still, I guess it's good to have the reminder that we don't know where anyone is at, and we are called by God to love our neighbours. I hope I show love, even to those who would have otherwise been beyond my notice.

Loves, Grace