Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.I am numb, profoundly sad, and feeling GUILTY GUILTY GUILTY that I couldn't stop him. I did all the right things. I held him, told him I loved and needed him, hysterically begged him to stay. But it wasn't enough. Today my mom's life partner decided that life wasn't worth living. He calmly walked down the hall to their bedroom, lay back on the bed, put the cold, blue steel of his .22 pistol in his mouth and pulled the trigger. Click, click, bang.
So here I am, at almost 5am, awake and alone and trying to make sense of today. Trying to figure out why this quiet man who has been my family for sixteen years decided that today, today, was the end of the road. Why it didn't matter that we love and need him. Why my pitiful attempt at CPR didn't do anything except make a mess. Why I felt his pulse disappear right under my fingertips. Why, aside from the blood on his face, he looked so totally at peace.
Charlie hasn't felt well in a long time, he told my mother today. He believed that he was seriously, if not terminally, ill. He simply could not take the pain anymore, both physical and psychological. He matter-of-factly told her that he was going to kill himself today. That she should leave and come to my house, because he would prefer that she not witness his suicide. And that it would happen even if she stayed.
Mom came to my house today at 2pm, crying hard and asking for help. She told me, "Charlie's going to kill himself."
"Oh, no, HE'S NOT," I replied. And I ran faster than I ever have. I called 911, drove maniacally to their house, and proceeded to beg Charlie to care about himself as much as we care for him. It didn't work. By 2:10pm the deed was done. Neatly, with as little fuss as possible.
So now we are left to analyze the past days and weeks. What did we miss? What could have stopped this horrific tragedy from unfolding right in front of our eyes? And how do we remember Charlie's life without reliving his death?
I pray that God gives us the strength to heal. Because right now it feels like we all took a bullet today.
In Memory of Charles R. Hindall
December 9, 1933 - May 27, 2007
Peace, my friend