I was rocked to the core when I read about the suicide death of Robin Williams last night. I have enjoyed so many of his movies and his comedic style. His death was “trending” on Facebook, and everyone was expressing sorrow. How could someone so talented and beloved by the public not know how much he was loved?
Truth is, we don’t know the private sufferings of others. It angers me when people say suicide is a selfish act. People who make such statements are the ones who are selfish. They would rather that the one who is suffering continue to suffer so that they themselves will not be left hurt. Shame on them!
From every angle, suicide is a tragedy. People who are suicidal generally feel that their situation is hopeless, that there is no way out, and that the future holds nothing but more of the same. They are boxed in. Sometimes, they are, pardon the pun, dead wrong. The next day, the sun smiles and a loving hand reaches out to give hope. But sometimes, they are right. Bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people. Sometimes, there is no hand in the morning sunbeams offering hope.
I think a lot about Christopher Reeve, a brave and courageous man by any standard after he was left a quadriplegic in the horseback accident. If I had been him, I surely would have taken my own life, if I’d had the power. Like Robin Williams, he had fortune and fame. Perhaps he didn’t suicide because he lacked the physical capability. But he did seem to have a loving spouse and family around him who loved and supported him. I have no way of knowing what Robin had or didn’t have, except that he was obviously suffering. He had the physical capability of suicide, and he used it. If I had been in Reeve’s position, and had the physical capability of suicide, I would have used it. I certainly don’t have fortune and fame, and I still don’t have the warm hand reaching out to tell me I’m loved and valued. Oh, the “warm hands” are coming to me in dribs and drabs, through my blog, and my few friends. Not enough to abate the long nights of stark fear and loneliness. But a tenuous start…. For which I am grateful.
Patch Adams was one of my favorites of Robin’s movies:
I do not want to desecrate Robin’s death by tying it back to my own story. It stands on its own as a tragedy beyond words. But it brings back another aspect of my last Discard. When I had sent my wife an avalanche of gifts in January of 2014, and fervently hoped that her mother’s death had opened her eyes to what is truly important in life, she told me about “Cassie” AKA Claire. Even though I understood that she’d duped me the previous spring, it would have all been well and good and I would have worked with her to secure an amicable divorce. I would have wished her the best, and gone on with my life. But instead, she chose to lie (and to cheat on Claire) by telling me she’d broken up with Claire because she “loved me,” and to attempt to con me out of more money.
In amongst that short bit of communication, Paula did a couple of other things. When I asked her wasn’t “Cassie” concerned that she was involved with someone who was still legally married, Paula’s response was something to the effect of, “Why would she be? She’s still married, too.” I’d have to go back to the Skype log to get the exact quote. As best as I can determine, Claire’s husband is Chris Marshall.
But the more staggering piece of info Paula shared with me was that Claire’s former partner had committed suicide the previous October. I had to wonder why she was telling me this… One of my favorite truths is, “If her lips are moving, she’s lying.” So I don’t even know if it is true. If it is true, it breaks my heart. Only Claire will know. When I look at the photographs of Claire, I see someone with raccoon eyes who is beleaguered with grief. I can only think she must be in about the same “head space” I was in when I met Paula. Reading her Facebook page, it seemed to me that she spent a hell of a lot of time dulling her pain with alcohol. I tried to warn Claire, but victims are so in need of that one “true love” that they won’t listen until it is too late. I can’t fault Claire for that — I ignored the warnings of all my friends. I just hope she will listen to me now.
I have mixed feelings about Claire. She is doing wrong by impinging on a marriage that still exists, even if in name only. Her choices have hurt me. But on the other hand, I see the hurt and need in her eyes, and I know that she is being duped just as I was. What to do, but carry on, doing the best one can?
Look at her eyes and tell me if you don’t see the same hurt that I see… (Claire on the right, Paula in the middle, Claire’s sister on the left.)
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