Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Addendum to "A few things I found..."

This morning when I got in to work I told the coworker who had told me about the person who had left things behind yesterday that I had found a lot of that person's stuff in the dumpster and what I had taken home. The coworker assumed that the landowners had taken the vacating renters' stuff and put it in the dumpster, and was understandably upset. But I didn't think that's what happened, that is, I still thought it was the person who left their own stuff in the dumpster, and went on with my day until I overheard a little snippet of conversation that was related to the one I'd had earlier.

The same coworker I talked with at the beginning of the day had just found out the person who left all their stuff behind had committed suicide, last night or very early this morning. A few hours later I found out one of the people who runs a business next to the bakery was a friend of the deceased and that the deceased had killed themselves by drowning in a nearby river, and that the deceased has family in the area. I also found out that the person who drown had been having a hard time for a very long time and had "been more functional in the past eight months" than the friend had ever seen them, partly due to being housemates with a caring mutual friend.

It's a shock, of course. I feel strangely connected to this person I met for maybe five minutes ten days ago, because I've handled and now have some of their stuff. But that was true yesterday. Now it's stranger because that person will never use these items again, not only because they left them behind but because they are no longer a part of the corporeal world.

It never entered my mind that leaving those items behind was one of the last things the person would do before they left this world. I thought it was more on a continuum of bipolar manic behavior that would eventually swing back the other way. I just didn't see it coming. I think it takes experience as well as intuition to see the possibility of suicide in other people, and although I've got gobbs of intuition, I have, mercifully, very little experience with suicides. So I think I need to forgive myself for not being able to anticipate what came after the person left their things behind, what came after they drove off in their car, what came after they went down to the river. 

Once again, as I wrote yesterday, this time to say good bye -

I love you.
I'm sorry.
Please forgive me.
Thank you.

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