Hey guys: can you please pray/have masses said for a friend of mine? I know it was years ago, but I was just re-reading the teaching on suicides and it brought it to mind. My friend took his own life a few years ago and I was shocked. There never was a jollier fellow, happily married and well respected. But he was heavily involved in a rather rough sport in which he sustained many head injuries over the years. I had an email from his wife who said that he had been very badly affected by this. What he and his family did not know was how severely. He suffered from bouts of depression so severe that he would be hospitalized. After he died, they were told that the head trauma had created a cumulative effect such that the only way to ensure his safety was inpatient treatment, though with brain damage they didn't know if there ever had been anything they could have done for him.
Chuck was one of those guys in high school who was constantly joking around and his good nature and prodigious musical talents always made him the centre of attention. I was a wallflower in high school and was terribly intimidated by him. But we had the same free period one semester and he always spent it in the cafeteria playing the piano they kept in the back. I would come and sit near by and listen while I read or worked on drawings. He always took requests and didn't mind me singing along. Those were the times I think the real Chuck peeped out, and it turned out that without an audience for his clowning, he was almost as shy as I was but also a kind and generous guy.
Years later we connected again in the SCA where he had rocketed to fame and fortune and become the head of a large household (don't laugh, non-nerds, this is a pretty big deal in this subculture, and quite real. He was a genuine leader of at least 40 people, all of whom very much looked up to him IRL as well as SCA context...we live in terrible times and people need a tribe, however goofy it might look on the outside.) In that period, I was pretty much a nobody and he was (literally) a king among men, and even so, he would take the time to invite me to things, make sure I was included in things and always had time to chat and share a beer.
When I heard he'd died and how I was surprised how affected I was, even though I'm sure I hadn't seen him in 15 years.
Anyway, from what his wife told me I expect that there was little chance that he was responsible for his act, and I told her I would pray for him and for her. Her name is Heather, his is Charles.