Sunday, March 30, 2008

Suicide Ain't Painless

A month back friend and fine writer Starshine Roshell wrote a column partially based on info she requested from people she knew. Our job was to discuss couples in which you like one person and then can't stand the other half. Turns out part of my response made it to her finished article:

"In my experience, it’s best not to tell someone they married a loser,” said a guy whose sister — sadly — did just that. “He’s a blowhard know-nothing and a self-centered jerk whose favorite response in an argument is, ‘Duh!’”

Well, self-centered jerk isn't half of it. Half way through our Paris vacation, Amy and I get an email from my other brother-in-law--it says the guy I bitched about above is dead. We at first can't believe it, but call New Jersey to find out he's not just dead--he's shot himself in the basement and my poor sister, his wife, found him, too. So since December 2006 she's lost her mother, father, and husband.

But only one of them decided to do it himself.

I know you're not supposed to talk ill of the dead, but my only response is, What the fuck!? He wasn't a depressive sort, he left no note, and while the most recent job he'd been on (he ran his own construction company) was miserable according to my sister, I would assume one great joy of picking up contract after contract is you know none of them are forever. He didn't have any pressing huge health problems. We keep wondering if there's some surprise shoe waiting to drop somewhere--gambling debts he couldn't pay, who knows.

What I do know is my sister is going through hell. My bitter joke is that if my dad was still alive he'd say, "If I knew he was going to do this I'd shoot him myself."

Of course my guilt is all mixed into it, too, as we were an ocean away and it was too financially ridiculous to head back to New Jersey and cut the vacation short. Especially given my sister would be attended to by so many--her husband's kids and grandkids from his first marriage, her huge network of friends and coworkers who all showed up for the funerals for our mom and dad, even when they didn't know them at all. Sure enough, as my other brother-in-law put it, you'd think the pope had died, so many people came to the funeral home and funeral. So I'm saving my money and time to see my sister soon, and see just her, be there for here, whatever that can mean after something so senseless.



Blogger Mike said...

Whoa, that's crazy. I take it from the post your sister and this dude didn't have any kids together.

That's good news at least.

Paris was ok otherwise?

5:02 AM  
Blogger Patrick said...


10:01 AM  
Blogger Queen Whackamole said...

That's a lot to deal with...
Sorry, George's sister.

12:02 PM  
Anonymous Bryan said...

My mother, who worked as a receptionist/bookkeeper in a therapist's office for a number of years, often said that suicide was a permanent solution for a temporary problem.

Many positive thoughts to your family, George.

2:23 PM  
Anonymous ~dave said...

Utterly speechless. Hope you and the family are doing OK considering...Welcome back. Hope France was good to you.

3:05 PM  
Blogger Tom Hilton said...

Oh, shit. That's horrible. My heart goes out to your sister.

5:13 PM  
Blogger Smitty said...

Sorry, George. Positive toughts to your sister, you, and the rest of your family.

7:57 PM  
Anonymous Starshine said...

Oh, crap, George. Sigh. I'm so sad for your family. Well-written piece. I almost "enjoyed" it.

6:05 AM  
Blogger George said...

Thanks for the comfort, everybody.

Promise there will be Paris entries soon.

9:50 AM  
Blogger ahab said...

Sorry to hear about your sister's loss, George. She may want to consider the weather as a possible contributing cause (assuming they're here in the east). Seasonal Affective Disorder was very pronounced this year due to the exceedingly depressing gray weather we had for weeks on end. February and March are the months it strikes.

11:23 AM  
Blogger Marty said...

I'm sorry, too, George. Please accept my condolences.

Something like this happened to a former colleague when I lived in Fresno. It turned out her husband had a whole life she knew nothing about.

12:35 PM  
Anonymous Al Bonowitz said...

Seasonal Affective Disorder is why I moved to California. Even so, I'm still unable to let the summer solstice pass without the brief realization that it's all downhill for the next six months.

I'm sorry about the upheaval in your family. I hope you were able to get some joy out of Paris.

7:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is really hard is living with a husband so long and have them do that to you. Betrayal really. The drugs and world events have people depressed....a lot of them.

My husband just off and left me with little for retirement for a women who danced better than myself. What the crap? A lot of older men get dementia so who knows what they are thinking? I supposed women could do it also. My husband did have it.

I wish your sister lived near me since we have a lot in common. Give her lots of hugs.

3:06 PM  

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