An acquaintance of mine shot himself to death on Monday. He really was kind of the definition of an acquaintance- our kids have gone to school together starting in preschool, they were good friends then but don't hang out with the same crowds in 8th grade. They've played ball together on 3 or 4 teams over the 9 years they've been playing, one of which he was an assistant coach on. We'd sit with him and his wife occasionally at the games. This was the first in probably 4 years they've been on the same team, and my son and I attended the viewing with the ball team last night. Apparently he had become pretty withdrawn over the past couple of years and got to the point of ending it.
It occurred to me this week that my son had no experience with anyone other than an older relative dying, and had never attended a viewing/funeral, so this was a "teachable moment" for us. He's not a very outwardly emotional kid so it's hard to say how it affected him but we went through the whole- look, you need to understand that this happens and that sometimes people get to the point where they feel they cannot live anymore. Also, your teammate's Dad's body will be there. This is a disturbing situation and I don't think other than a funeral director people ever get comfortable with it, but- death is something you'll have to deal with at times your whole life. You need to tell your teammate and his Mom that you're sorry about his Dad and give them your support. Meanwhile I was thinking inside- pleasedon'tfreakoutpleasedon'tfreakoutpleasedon'tfreakout. He did great as I expected he would.
I try not to judge people who take their own lives, but I guess I can't imagine what it would take to get to the point of wanting to end it all- or losing my wife or one of my parents at all, let alone this way. Definitely a sad situation all around.