Someone once close to me died, and I don't know how to feel about it

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Martin Blank
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Someone once close to me died, and I don't know how to feel about it

Post by Martin Blank » Fri Dec 09, 2022 2:43 am

I got a call from someone I never expected to speak with again just a short while ago. He was calling to let me know that a former mutual friend of ours, Ed, had died. There's not much in the way of details available right now, but apparently he wasn't feeling well, went to the hospital, and before they could hook up an EKG, he died. He had a DNR on file, so that was it.

For a while, Ed was kind of the group punching bag. He loved playing with this new, but obviously soon-to-be-dead Linux thing. He read a lot, drove a tiny car that was far too small for a guy something like 6'4" and almost 300 pounds, was really awkward around new people (especially women), and managed to say embarrassingly wrong things at the right time. They were innocent, but others read an innuendo into them that he didn't see. It was easy to frustrate him.

As most of us grew out of that phase, we took him more seriously. He eventually hired on to a cruise line doing IT, and we all wondered how we could get a job being on a cruise ship but not part of the crew for 20 weeks out of the year. He started to date, and we encouraged him. He found himself. One day, I learned he got married. Go, Ed!

And then came the bad news. His wife was in the hospital with serious wounds. Ed had tried to kill her. He was arrested and charged with attempted murder, among other things. She survived, and he was diagnosed as schizophrenic, possibly having undergone a psychotic break. He pleaded guilty on reduced charges and did a few years in state prison. He behaved, took his meds, and got out a bit early. He reached out to refriend me on Facebook but I never responded.

I just didn't know how to handle it. We didn't have much in common anymore, and I hadn't talked to him directly for a few years even before the attack. I didn't know what we could talk about, and every time I saw his name, I thought about how I felt when I heard what he did.

I guess it doesn't much matter anymore.
If I show up at your door, chances are you did something to bring me there.

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Deacon
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Re: Someone once close to me died, and I don't know how to feel about it

Post by Deacon » Fri Dec 09, 2022 4:43 am

Wow, that’s quite the story. I don’t really have any advice, but I wanted to acknowledge that I see what you’re going through.
The follies which a man regrets the most in his life are those which he didn't commit when he had the opportunity. - Helen Rowland, A Guide to Men, 1922

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Martin Blank
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Re: Someone once close to me died, and I don't know how to feel about it

Post by Martin Blank » Fri Dec 09, 2022 6:53 am

Thank you, Deacon. I've spent a few hours processing it and I don't know that I'm any closer to internal resolution. I mean, it's easy to focus on the attack and call him worthless, but if it came from a severe, undiagnosed mental illness, what do I make of it?
If I show up at your door, chances are you did something to bring me there.

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Re: Someone once close to me died, and I don't know how to feel about it

Post by raptor9k » Fri Dec 09, 2022 2:20 pm

That's rough, my condolences. To oversimplify, he wasn't worthless, but you didn't do anything wrong. Do you feel like you abandoned him? Do you feel nothing, and that scares you a bit? Sometimes just putting it in words helps you make sense of it.

So much of life is cut and dry until you're faced with a choice. I like to think there's always room for redemption, but I've never had to help someone rebuild after something like that. Unfortunately, death has a finality to it that makes you reevaluate past experiences that don't sit well.

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Martin Blank
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Re: Someone once close to me died, and I don't know how to feel about it

Post by Martin Blank » Fri Dec 09, 2022 9:29 pm

I don't know. Maybe the DNR was his way out. I found out through someone I haven't talk to for years for Reasons, who found out from someone he tangentially knows who is friends with Ed's ex-wife, who found out because someone she knows learned from one of Ed's few remaining friends.

I have been lucky to not have to deal with a lot of death in my life, so it's often hard for me to parse it. My father-in-law died a year ago, and that was hard, but we knew it was coming and he was locked in his head with Parkinson's. Before that, it was a close friend killed in a motorcycle accident and that was in 2012.
If I show up at your door, chances are you did something to bring me there.

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Re: Someone once close to me died, and I don't know how to feel about it

Post by raptor9k » Sat Dec 10, 2022 6:55 am

I'm drunk, take that or leave it holy shit google swipe type is good. This took so long.. Maybe more thoughts when I'm sober.. .

As a former suicidal yes, that likely was his way out. You weren't really friends anymore regardless of Ed's mental status. That's fine. Sometimes the universe fucks us and we get what we get. If this doesn't sit well then reevaluate what you would do in the future. Grow, don't beat yourself up.

I've spent my entire life jettisoning past relationships due to past trauma and truly wanted to off myself until therapy let me deal with some shit. Death sucks regardless of when you deal with it.

I love you and I hope you find peace

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Re: Someone once close to me died, and I don't know how to feel about it

Post by Rorschach » Fri Dec 23, 2022 1:36 pm

Sorry for your loss, MB. Nothing like a sprinkling of guilt to sharpen it, is there? Life, man.

My brother is a paranoid schizophrenic. He has done some things I find hard to process. But, after a lot of years, I kind of came to the conclusion that it wasn’t him doing them. Not the older brother I worshipped growing up until such point as I was old enough to hear that something was off-key. His condition did them. Not him. He’s the kindest, gentlest soul I know but when his meds aren’t right, something just comes to the fore that I know isn’t him.

I lost a friend to alcoholism maybe five or six years ago. We had a falling out. He dried himself out. He reached out to me, and I looked away. A year later I heard he’d died in his sleep after relapsing. I dream about him at least every few nights. He haunts me.
I’d give anything for things to have been different.

Actually, now I come to think of it, Deacon met him in Edinburgh I’m sure.

Ah who knows man. Sometimes you just can’t save people. Like my friends above: I don’t have anything to say except I feel your pain and your confusion, and I love you too.
To Let

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Re: Someone once close to me died, and I don't know how to feel about it

Post by FirebirdNC » Fri Jan 06, 2023 12:56 pm

I missed this thread somehow, l am sorry for the pain and confusion you feel MB. Like Deacon I don't have adequate words. I know we all must make our own journey and at the end of the day what has been said or done to us shapes our choices. It is a shame that mental health, addictions and trauma are factors in this "modern" world. The "what ifs" will drive you crazy.
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