A few days ago a couple of on-line friends were sending me a link to a final good-bye post from another blogger, hoping that it wasn’t The Music Man. I read it, saw Dooce’s post about it, and felt really sad for this person I didn’t know, that they would feel so full of despair and hopelessness that they would take their own life to end their pain.
But then today I saw a former tenant of my building post a photo of himself with a couple other old tenants on Facebook. In the caption he said something about missing Jeff. Jeff was in the photo along with all of them, holding up a beer, and smiling. I asked him what happened to Jeff and that’s when it all clicked.
Jeff committed suicide on May 8th.
Jeff is Glueslabs.
So no, it wasn’t The Music Man who tragically took his own life but it was a former tenant and someone who I knew. Jeff was a good guy. Sure, he was late on his rent sometimes and yes, when he moved out I had to clean cat hair out of the fridge, but he was really nice. I figured he was somewhere in Seattle, living his life with his cats, maybe doing better than he had when he was at my building.
But he wasn’t.
I’m sitting here remembering him with a heavy heart. He lived two floors below me for two years and I had no idea that he was in such a bad place emotionally. None of us really know what those around us are going through, do we? And we don’t often take the time to ask or to listen. I hope I can ask more and listen deeper. And I hope that those who are feeling alone in the world can tell someone and that someone will really listen.