“So fare thee well my own true love
I’ll think of you night and day…”
Listening to The High Kings as I write this post – the song “Paddy’s Green Shamrock Shore.” One of my favorites. It is a beautiful tune, capable of bringing me to the brink of tears from time to time. Especially if I’m having a difficult day or I don’t get to see the ones I love for extended periods of time. That actually happens much more than it should, just because of the demands of the job.
Martha and I went to a memorial service earlier today. Jason, the son of her ex-husband, committed suicide a little over a week ago. Apparently hanged himself, from what I’ve been told.
He was 33 years old.
The service was quite well-attended; from my rough count, there were approximately 150 people in the church.
Jason was living up in Concord. I didn’t know him, so I can’t provide any commentary about him or the life he led. I am aware, however, that he had some problems that were long-standing. He had learning disabilities, a potentially explosive temper, and a substance abuse problem. On the other hand, shown by the number of people that were at the service, he was a kind, caring human being. There were many people who, it seems, truly loved him, as he loved them. A number of people spoke at the service, and their words about him were consistent in terms of his willingness to help others and be a friend to people that needed one.
I do have to be honest about something. I didn’t go to the service because of any obligation I felt towards Jason. In fact, I didn’t know him; I’d only met him once, and that was probably 3 or 4 years ago. I went solely to be supportive to Martha as I figured she’d need to have that support available to her. I’m glad I did; Martha had a hard time. From what I’ve been able to learn, she made a huge effort to help him along during his early life, just to get him through the basics. But I believe there was more to it than just that; one of her brothers died in an untimely manner many years ago, and in having to be strong for her mother (who has never accepted the manner in which he died) she never got to grieve for him herself.
I can think of nothing harder when it comes to the death of a family member or of someone else who is loved.
The service itself was very good. I was incredibly impressed with the minister who is the pastor of the church where the service was held. He was a wonderful worship leader, and he himself apparently knew Jason pretty well as he said some really good things about him. Many others who attended did so as well. And his mother and sister were there. I can only imagine how hard it was for them to be there, but I think they were glad they were there.
Just the same, I am always bothered with deaths like this. While we will never know why he chose to die the way he did, I suspect that he believed something was bad enough in his life where he thought the only way to deal with it was to leave. And it’s sad.
I don’t know what else I can say other than that.