Today I reflect on what I am most grateful for. This should be a mentality that we embrace year round, but Thanksgiving is a day that we strive to focus on those things that we are thankful for. I am thankful for little giggles in the morning as my children play. I'm thankful for the roof over my head and my beautiful caring wife. I am thankful for my family and friends. I am thankful to live in a country where we have opportunities to better our lives. I am thankful to be alive.
Yesterday I received horrific news. A friend of mine made the decision to end his life. It has been three years since I last seen him. He is the fourth friend of mine who has committed suicide. I don't understand it. I pass no judgement. I can't imagine being backed into a corner and feeling like ending my own life would be the only way out. I cried with his wife yesterday. He was one of the most kind men I have ever met and I feel lucky to have known him. He suffered with extreme back problems and paranoia. He thought everyone was out to get him. His wife had tried to get him help, but he wouldn't listen to anyone. He trusted no one. Everyone was a potential spy. I feel horrible about all of this. I wish I would have been there for him. He was very comical, a fun loving man. Standing over six feet tall with the build of a line backer, He was a gentle giant.
He was a very funny man. Randomly, while taking a weekend vacation in New Hope with his wife, He entered a tattoo parlor. When he exited, he pulled up his pant leg to reveal a tattoo of a chipmunk, running down his leg with an Acorn in its mouth. We would occasionally prank call each other. He always got a kick out of that. He would call the hair salon and make appointments in my book under fake names like "Hugh G. Rection", and would show up to get his hair cut.
Years ago while living in Boston, he was brutally stabbed by a teenager. He was working as a bouncer at a bar. He took public transit to work. When stepping off the bus one day, a guy in his early twenties approached him and randomly started stabbing him all over his torso. He was sent to the ER and spent days in the hospital, recovering. The assailant was arrested and sentenced to jail. When his attacker was released from jail, he contacted and forgave him for the attack. I wonder how such a gentle and loving man could forgive someone who almost stabbed him to death, yet he decided to kill himself. I don't believe the church narrative that states that those who commit suicide go to hell. Those who commit suicide do it because they were living in hell, here on earth, in their own minds.
Rest in Peace, Eddie. I'll never forget you and the love that you shared with all those who crossed your path. I'm really gonna miss you bro