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August 19, 2009

My friend S, who lives across the street, came over this morning to tell me that one of our neighbors committed suicide a couple of days ago. The guy was a father to two young boys and a two-month-old daughter. His wife is a stay-at-home mom. I didn’t know him; I’ve seen the family getting in and out of their cars and I’ve seen the children play in front of their house, but I’ve never spoken to any of them. Still, it’s shocking to me. It’s an act of violence that rattles even a stranger.

I get how horrible depression is and I get feeling like no-one understands. I know what it’s like to not want to get out of bed, or to want to crawl back into bed because you just don’t know what else to do with yourself. I understand what it’s like, at least on some level, to think of yourself as a bad person, a hopeless case. Depression is no stranger to me. But what I don’t get is acting on those feelings by taking your own life when you know your children and spouse will have to find a way to survive in the aftermath. Your pain is over; their pain is just beginning. When you become a parent, there are some things you can’t do anymore. Like off yourself.

S told me the wife’s family is in town to help her out – but what about when her parents leave and she’s left to raise and support these three kids all by herself?

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