This week four years ago my friend died.
I know it is only a few days past Christmas and a few until New Years. All in all this is supposed to be one of the happiest times of the year – at least that’s what we are told anyway by advertisers, carol writers, and Christmas cards.
But this is the time of year that has an eternal dark stain for me. I have been through so much in the four years since JD took his life, and I now understand the struggles of bipolarity, depression, pain and suicide so much better than I did before. I know there is nothing I could have done. It was his choice. He chose to do what he did, it was not forced on him and it did not sneak upon him like a flu on an AIDS patient. It was a drastic, horrible choice.
But I still feel the pain every year at this time. I go back into my email inbox and read his last email to me. Just days before he decided to kill himself, he was supposed to come visit me and celebrate New Years with my family in Algonquin Park. Instead he sent an email explaining that he couldn’t come because he was sick.
I had no idea what sickness he was fighting.
I wish I had. And that is what angers me most. Why I have chosen to be so public with my depression and hospitalization. Knowing would probably not have prevented his suicide, but at least I would not have been deceived.
The truth matters, and a lie of omission is still a lie. Sometimes we must bring our deepest darkest fears out into the open to realize that they are in fact not ugly and horrible, but beautiful and common to us all.