Right at the moment, Kathy’s away, attending the funeral of a close family friend of ours — someone she’s known since college, and someone I’ve gotten to know a bit over the years, although she was much closer to him.

It’s tragic to lose him — he was just 45, was an amazing husband and father and friend and practically an uncle to SPL. Tragic that he left behind an amazing wife and 6 year old daughter. And made more tragic because he died at his own hand, after suffering from depression.

Kathy & I have really been struggling with it as everything’s unfolded this week — not even in the same universe as how the family’s affected, of course, but it’s caused a lot of soul searching and emotionally tough time.

There are so many different aspects, each of which seems too gigantic to really get a handle on. How to understand it in the context of his life? How to help his wife and daughter? How to talk about it with SPL, who loved him so much? And how to think about it all in the context of our own lives?

I think not too many of those questions are answerable quickly, or maybe at all, really. For myself, I have 3 main things I’m thinking about while Kathy’s at the memorial, celebrating his life.

1. Life can change profoundly for us in the space of a day, or an hour or a minute. Need to pay attention to now, need to enjoy those around us.

2. It’s an amazing thing to be with friends during a time of extreme emotional distress — it’s obviously so, so hard, but it’s also an opportunity for profound grace and dignity to show through, and that’s what’s manifestly evident this week with his wife and daughter. Such grace and strength in the face of so much uncertainty ahead.

But mostly, we’ll miss him and the influence he had on everyone around him. He was always so generous, so engaged, so happy to share time and joy. Kathy & SPL especially loved spending time with him and his family so much.

One comment

  1. So sorry to hear of this tragedy. Please give my best to Kathy. Depression, especially in men our age, has claimed 3 friends of mine in the recent past. In addition to your 3 “main things I’m thinking” points, I would add a 4th: the importance of getting discussion out in the open about the epidemic of male depression, its causes (better understood than many realize), its symptoms, its effects, and ways it can be addressed.

    Love to you all.