Sunday, September 30, 2012

Dealing With The Suicide of a Friend

It was difficult when my father passed away eight years ago. My best friend at work lost a health battle and passed away shortly thereafter. I remember thinking that I had been pretty lucky, living as long as I did without having to feel the agony of one of these “firsts” that many people had experienced so much earlier in life. Today, however, was a shocker. It is the first time that one of my friends has committed suicide. I am just numb.

I had actually first met Cindy’s daughter and husband when I assisted them in planning out academic schedules in their college years. Cindy and her husband, Keith, became part of my family’s circle of friends through the Italian dinner club – a group of locals who had taken a cooking class offered by a local Italian chef. The group meets once a month to share dinner -- always great food – drinks, and friendship. Keith played in a couple of my home poker games and was an easy guy to get along with. He was in a motorcycle accident that resulted in having one of his legs amputated, but he seemed to weather it pretty well.

Cindy was funny – almost always caustic, which is why I liked her. She intimated that I was, shall we say, shorted in the manhood department, so we had a good natured love/hate relationship. Cindy was a very caring woman, however, and quickly became one of my wife’s best friends. She and Keith moved away to North Carolina a couple of years ago to chase a dream of owning and operating an Original Pancake House franchise. Unfortunately, that never panned out. Both Keith and Cindy were working in the real estate field.

My wife visited Cindy a year ago and had a great time. Cindy made a trip back to the Chicago area and of course my wife drove up for the weekend to spend some time with her. In fact, Mrs. Lightning was planning to visit Cindy later in October but Cindy had not been feeling well and asked that the visit be postponed for a time when she would be able to fully enjoy the visit.

My wife has a lead role in a local production of Steel Magnolias and had posted on facebook Friday night that the cast had received a standing ovation at the conclusion of the play. Cindy responded on Saturday afternoon, “Way to go! So many talents … so little time! : ) .” Sometime shortly thereafter, Cindy walked outside her house into a field and shot herself.

Of course, my wife is totally devastated. We have heard that Cindy left a note, but we don’t know much more right now. Her daughter said that no one saw this coming. We knew that there had been some things that Cindy had been unhappy about. However, those of us who knew Cindy knew that she was a fighter. She helped her husband through his medical predicament and his rehab. She fought for several years against a work situation that she felt had been unfair. She was not the type to give up.

So tonight many of Cindy’s friends in central Illinois are mourning the death of a friend and wondering why. Tonight will be a long night.


Blogger Memphis MOJO said...

Sorry for your loss. Shocking.

9:22 PM  
Blogger Cranky said...

Horrible and sad. Sorry for you and the Missus.

9:30 PM  
Blogger Chris Abramski said...

I'm sorry to hear that. Thoughts & prayers for you & the Missus.

9:35 PM  
Blogger Rob said...

Just devastating. Very, very sorry for you and your wife. Don't know what else to say.

11:57 PM  
Blogger Spot said...

Terrible news. My heart goes out to the family and to you two.

1:34 AM  
Blogger Mr Subliminal said...

My thoughts are with you and your wife.

3:53 AM  
Blogger Josie said...

So very sorry to hear the news. Thinking of you and your wife.

5:28 AM  
Blogger The Poker Meister said...

My condolences. I'm very sorry for your loss.

8:10 AM  
Anonymous KenP said...

How sad. Probably shouldn't be guessing, but with the normal email so close and all that, I am wondering about all those disclaimers for various medications. As you indicate, she didn't seem the type and had things to live for.

9:33 AM  
Blogger Lucki Duck said...

Horrible news.

You and your wife, and especially Cindy's family will be in prayers.

So very sorry this has happened.

9:56 AM  
Blogger Pete P. Peters said...

Wow. That's tough. Thoughts are with you and your family, lightning

10:44 AM  
Blogger PokahDave said...

Sorry to hear about the loss of a friend. My condolences to you are your wife.

10:50 AM  
Blogger FlushDraww said...

All my hopes, all my prayers to you and your loved ones in this time of tragedy.

1:59 PM  
Blogger PokahDave said...

What I meant to say condolences to you and your wife.

3:11 PM  
Blogger Vegas Linda Lou said...

I'm so sorry about the loss of your friend. She must have been going through such pain; you wonder how she was able to maintain a positive presence. Suicide is hard to understand, such a tragedy. Thinking of you.

12:19 PM  

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