Today I said Goodbye to a man I wish I knew...
Today I attended a funeral mass for a local Realtor. He happened to also be the dad of one of my daughter's classmates. I only met him briefly at some school events but was saddened by the news of his death.
I had read a news story a while back about him being involved in some less than legal activities. I wondered then if the Real Estate market had pushed him to do things he may not have done otherwise. I prayed for his family. We got an email on Sunday saying that he had taken his own life after dealing with personal issues and depression. I thought it would be a good idea to attend the mass, to allow my daughter to support her friend and classmate.
We walked into the church and I was surprised by the packed house. This is no small feat, it is a huge church. I later found out that this gentlemen had attended the school where our daughter's go now. Most of the faculty and staff knew him, and were there in support of the family. He had grown up in the area and had tons of friends, business associates and family. People came from all over to celebrate his life and grieve his passing.
Today I learned about a man known for saying "Ain't life grand?!" By all accounts he was a trouble-maker in school and well beyond, but a well-loved one! He supported friends and charity organizations. He coached little league lacrosse, and was adored by all of his charges. He was a hard-worker and a loving husband and father. One always knew where they stood with him. Friends and family said he always ended phone calls with "I love you".
Unfortunately, he also struggled with addiction.
He leaves behind a loving wife and two daughters, only 6 and 7, who will be forever without their dad. His mom and dad, and the rest of the family are grieving. His friends from far and wide are left to wonder what his future could have been. They are all struggling with what they could have done to help, to change the outcome of the decision he made.
I have always thought of suicide as a selfish act. I thought a lot about that today. I am saddened that someone so obviously full of life, of promise, who was so obviously loved could have found the taking of his life the only answer. He was a Christian. He believed in God's love and forgiveness, he had been taught it his whole life. He lived it, he shared it. Sadly, in the depths of his addiction, he couldn't feel that love, I pray that he feels it now. I pray that his family, especially his wife and children can forgive him for making the choice he did.
It is unfortunate that it is usually at funerals that you hear how someone touched your life. I ask today, in this man's honor, that you don't wait. Make a phone call, write a letter, a real letter (not an email), drop everything and tell someone, anyone, how they touched your life. Make it a practice to do it daily, or at least weekly. You never know if that will be the catalyst for a change in someone.
If you are in the depths of despair and considering suicide, thinking that your loved ones lives will be easier without you in it, think again. Your decision will cause a ripple effect across the Universe. You are worthwhile and you are loved. I pray that if you are reading this that you get help, reach out, please. The struggles you face will not last. The life you live affects more people than you know. The choice you make will change them forever. Get help, please.
I didn't know this man well, and I am sad that I will never get the chance. God Speed.
Today I said goodbye to a man I wish I knew.
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