In MemoriamOctober 27th, 2010
I lost a good friend this week.
I’m not going to name names. It freaks me out to go public with something so private. Neither Facebook nor my blog are appropriate for that. Plus, he was one of the few internet holdouts… preferring to connect face-to-face with the rest of the world… when he wanted to connect.
And frankly, his name only matters to those of us who knew him.
But let’s put it this way; this person didn’t fit too well in life. I mean, life wanted him—he was loved by his family, and many friends. He was good-looking, charming, funny and fit. And even more than that, he had a special soul-level quality that was unstoppably loveable… inexplicable, really, considering he could also drive us all nuts. But at the end of the day–and usually somewhere before noon–we loved him, and extended our hearts and hands to him with ease.
But it wasn’t enough. Not because we didn’t try, but because he, and life, were just not a good fit. It’s as if the limits and rules of 21st century existence were just too much. As if duality had too tight a squeeze on him. No matter how hard he tried, a strange and ugly foot would emerge from beneath him and trip him up until he fell, again and again. It was more than addiction. More than stubborn pride. I’ve seen those things trip people up before. It was as if a deep wiring… perhaps from a childhood brain injury… just kept zapping him from the inside, striking him down, again and again. And falling doesn’t feel good after a while. Because people notice. And he couldn’t help but notice… and he began to judge himself. And it is that awful, final, human judge—the one inside—whose gavel hits the hardest.
About eight years ago, I drove him to a hospital because he wanted to hurt himself. Before getting in the car, I said I understood what it was like to want to fall asleep and never wake up again. It would be like going back home. Like taking The Big Nap. I didn’t think it was crazy to feel the pull to go back to that peaceful place—the Big Yin– but that I wished he would stay with us and try to figure it out. That I would try to help him touch The Big Nap from this side without hurting himself.
I was thinking: Meditation. Eating better. Maybe going to a meeting.
But those just weren’t his things.
M tried for eight more years. He duked it out with duality, while holding in his chest a secret, dark desire to get the hell out. He was a brave, brave man for simply fighting that battle for such a long time. It must have been brutal. It was so easy for us—for whom life fits comfortably five days out of seven—to watch him from the outside and feel his unstoppable loveliness coming at us. To be the recipients of his jokes, or his tenderness, or his photos of funny dogs he saw, or little kids he knew. It was easy for us to say “it’s gonna be okay”.
But it wasn’t okay for him. It just wasn’t. For whatever reason, his drive to get out—to take that Big Nap—finally won.
I know we’re supposed to abhor a suicide. That’s just the Judeo-Christian way. But this lovely, lovely man… who touched my life in such beautiful ways… and whose struggle I was privy to… I refuse to judge his choice. I just refuse. Judgment was his problem on this side.
I love him. And I will miss him terribly. And I’m glad he's finally free.