Dealing With The Suicide of a Friend
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.