I saw him for the first time in months a couple of days ago. He seemed older, a lot older. He had lost a lot of weight. There was a hollowness in his eyes I had never seen before. He seemed resigned and tired. There was an age, a tiredness hard to describe. He went to work and he slept. That was all he did. And talking to him I felt so very sad.
Many years ago his wife committed suicide. She had been a quiet nice lady, but seemed forever with a stress past words. She had been in and out of psychiatric hospitals for a long time. She tried to be a good patient and tried to do what was recommended but unhappiness and misery seemed in her blood. She had medication and she had medication for her medication. I dont even know how many suicidal gestures she made. By the end I dont she even knew where the “illness” started and the medication side effects ended. She couldnt think and she wanted to so bad. To this day I wonder if the “illness” was terminal or if the treatment was. They gave her pills instead of people and sent her home when the insurance company cured her. She was lonely unto death and in the end was even lost unto herself.
One night during the break in a movie she went into the bathroom and took all the pills she could take. During the next commercial she told her family what she had done. There was no reason, no something that happened. If there was they just missed it. 3 days later all of her systems had shut down and they pulled the plug. And she died.
She had a daughter about 13 and a son about 14 and a husband who loved her as best as he could. For them it was a death never done.
Years later the son is an alcoholic. At one point at age 22 he had amassed 22 dui’s. The police knew him on a first name basis. Finally they sent him to prison. He is at home with his dad now. Every now and then he works but mainly he lays on the couch. His dad is not sure if he will ever get off.
His sister was 13 and I think she could never decide whether she killed her mother or her mother killed her. After years of gratutious sex with partner after partner she finally had a child which she and her dad are raising. She likes to act like she is on top of life but she’s not. She cant keep a job, cant keep a relationship. I wonder if she just doesnt want to be her mother’s second chance with her daughter.
My friend went through one failed marriage after his wife died. He had a career but that ended a long time ago. Everything was a long time ago.
It has been a death forever slow for all of them. They seldom mention her name if ever but yet her presence lurks above all us.
She was a good friend to both Linda and I. We had moved long before her death. She was supportive of us doing some really hard times, but never seemed to find the strength for herself she tried to give others.
It has been a real tragedy. In retrospect her death was forever slow also. It started long before she ever took any pills. She qualified for most severe mental health diagnoses in the book and was probably called most of them at one time or another. Her life for a thousand different reasons was about pain and personal misery. But I wish you could of seen how she changed under a veritable mountain of medications in the last couple of years. She couldnt think. She couldnt decide. She couldnt relate. She felt like she was a mistake and in the end all she thought she could do was get rid of the mistake. I just dont believe she any longer thought there was anything to save.
I hope to be a better friend than I have been. Life for all of us should be more than a death forever slow.