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    My daily writing--emails, journal entries, marginalia, more emails, blog posts, and tweets--shapes me as a writer, helping and hindering the big stuff I'm trying to accomplish. Every word counts.

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A Suicide

Someone I know committed suicide this week. When I got the news on Wednesday, I felt surprised but not surprised. “Oh, my!” I thought, and within a few minutes, “Oh, well.”

Even though I knew him for nine years and had coffee with him pretty much every week,  I’m reluctant to call him a friend. He was friendly to me, and when we teased, we aimed past each other in sarcastic harmony. He revealed incredibly personal details through stories that seemed a muddled combination of truth, fiction, and cries for help. All of us in the kaffeeklatch understood he was not seriously inviting us to advise him, although sometimes we tried anyway.

Before falling asleep Wednesday night, I started thinking about how he had planned his suicide. At some point, he decided to do it. Maybe he had decided by the time I saw him last Saturday and already knew that my casual “See you next week” would not end up being true.

He had to acquire rope. Did he have some in his garage, or did he have to buy it? How did he know how much to use and otherwise set up his ad hoc gallows? Of course, he could have looked all this up online, or maybe if you want desperately enough to kill yourself, the logistics come to you easily. Continue reading

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