you just never know

one of the purchasing agent guys at my work just hung himself in the alley. he’s out there right now. hanging. the cops are on their way.

i didn’t go look. it seemed … rude. but in a way i wanted to look, but i also knew i didn’t want to see.

he was a nice guy. he’s been awful quiet lately. he was a little older than i am. his name was steve.

42 thoughts on “you just never know

  1. i’m home now. they sent us all home. the firemen were putting the ladder back on the truck, in the alley, but i backed out of the parking lot the other way.

  2. wow kd, i’m sorry. i mean, wow. in retrospect though, you mentioned that had been quiet lately. something was up and no one knew. maybe no one asked him if he was ok. i’m not saying you should have, its just weird that after people take their own life, people remember that they had been behaving weird.
    i’m sorry that you went through this.

  3. i keep asking myself why i had that weird urge to go look. buncha the guys went, in fact more or less every male in the building went out there at one point and some of them stood by waiting for the cops and the firemen.

    why would anybody hang themselves in a busy alley outside their work? right outside one of the offices really? on their lunch hour no less?

  4. other people at work said they’d been trying to get him to talk about stuff, but he wouldn’t. i’m not all that social at work, i more or less hide in my little cubbyhole. he was one of those people i’d make small talk in the lunchroom with. just small talk.

    he recently was on a cane, i guess a back injury. i don’t think that’s why.

  5. I have no idea what to say, but I feel compelled to say something.
    I don’t know how I’d deal with something like this. You really do never know…..

  6. is it extremely weird that the first thing i did, after standing around being all freaked for a minute or two, was to sit down and blog?

    cause it seemed kind of weird. but i couldn’t not blog it. i hate to think of the extent of things that could happen around me and i’d log on and blog.

  7. Wow… This stuff seems to be catching, doesn’t it? I don’t think you’re wierd at all. If you had jumped on the phone to tell friends what had happened, you probably wouldn’t think its wierd at all. You talk to your friends thru blogging, thats all. Sorry you had to go through that at work. At least you weren’t close to the guy.

  8. Damn. That’s just horrible.

    I wonder if he hung himself near work so as to spare a family member from finding him at home?

  9. that’s my theory, sort of. i mean, he’s worked there longer than i have — maybe five years, maybe even longer? some of the people there are his close friends, i guess you could chose to inflict your death on friends rather than your wife. and the alley he chose to hang himself in is as busy as a street, it’s a shortcut through a large industrial park. i think a passerby saw him and alerted the staff in the office closest.

    oh his poor wife. goes off to work in the morning, in the afternoon gets a visit from the VPD. oy.

  10. Not nice at all. Suicide is awful. Awful for the victim, as well as those left behind to deal with the loss. An intern from India who was working here a few years back when I was doing internship did a similar thing. He jumped off the 4th floor balcony of his room one night. My friend Dr. Spanish actually witnessed his crashing into the ground. He says it sounded almost like a gunshot when he impacted with the asphalt in the parking lot. Awful. Why don’t these people talk about their problems or seek assistance? Is it that the rest of us in the world seem so cold, unfeeling or just too damn busy? It makes me so sad and I empathize with you. I hope he will find life everlasting and rest in peace.

  11. That’s really awful…
    I think I would have wanted to go look – and then have had to stop myself from doing so. I probably would have had to blog just to DO something – because in that situation there is nothing to do except stand around and talk about it and feel badly…

  12. maybe he chose that busy alley in hopes someone would find him and stop him in time? i just can’t stop wondering or thinking about it. it was the weirdest thing standing there in the office, looking at his desk where he’d been this morning. pack of (i think) cloves on the desk, his cane neatly resting on the edge of his desk (he’d had a bad back injury and wasn’t getting around too well).

    someone said they saw him doing something with a rope thing, weeks ago. maybe we all keep to ourselves and mind our own business too much, to just not say anything?

    someone said he ‘thought he was being persecuted by a few people’, that last part emphasized in an accusatory fashion. who knows what that meant. it’s the sort of place where you either have one of two last names, or you’re second class person. nepotism and attitudes are one of the reasons i keep to myself in my little office in the other division.

    people tried to draw him out on how he was feeling, to no avail.

    so he wandered out without his cane, and no one saw anything, and then …

  13. Wow. Work really really really sucks even on it’s best day, but not bad enough to do something like that. That’s pretty heavy. It must suck if life is so bad you don’t even call a friend or something to talk you out of it. Alone in an alley…

  14. Wow. That’s truly sad.

    Like you, I would have blogged it. I would have to get it out. I would need to write. Not odd, just the way it is. Sending you some positive thoughts, vibes, prayers, feelings … you know. Good stuff.

  15. kd, I think many of us use our blogs or personal pages as a form of catharsis. It also doesn’t hurt to know there’ll be some feedback coming along in just a bit…

  16. I’m so sorry.
    That would make me as introspectively spooked as I am territorially right now. Which is pretty spooked. The thieves did a right thorough casing of the joint, and we have a lot of shiny things still here.

  17. oh, Jess, i’ll bet you are. that’s just terrifying.

    life is pretty terrifying. it’s good to have a blog, in times like these. ’cause yes, the feedback is really wonderful.

  18. How awful. I have to admit, at one time I was so upset at a job that I thought about something like that, but thank God it was just a fleeting thought and I got past it. People get so much of their identity and socialization from their jobs these days that when things at work are bad, it can be just as stressful as problems at home – if not worse, since losing your job can ruin your home life, too.

    I think it’s important for people to remember that there is ALWAYS another option. You can quit your hellish job if it’s getting to you – working at Taco Bell and being able to sleep at night is better than being miserable and having money.

  19. It’s hard do be around something like that. You start trying remember signs, your involvment, etc. If you’re not careful, you can start re-writing little things in your memories and wind up beating up on yourself. Doesn’t sound like you’re doing that, kd, and I’m glad. I did once – you can Really Hurt yourself that way. Several years ago, when I was in the US Navy, a young lady who worked for me tried to knife herself. She said it just happened – she didn’t plan it, think about it, etc etc. The way she told us that part, it sounded authentic: She seemed shocked about the incident itself, spooked in a very serious way, but only puzzled that she couldn’t remember actually deciding to do it. (Luckily, someone had stopped her in time, so she could talk about it!)

    One of the officers in our unit had a MS in psych. (didn’t counsel here himself – said he was too close. Guess that kind of “opening up” requires someone separate from the rest of your life, as if any “social damage” you do by telling your secrets isn’t permanent, since you can ditch the shrink, or he/she doesn’t “count” socially because of the nature of the interaction. Or something like that.) The psych-degree guy said that frequently, suicides happen because people feel backed into a corner, again and again, unable to do anything about “it” until their minds/outlooks turn into a kind of tunnel vision, with the only move available that gets any results is – well . . .

    I’m sorry it happened so close to you, and glad to see the support and interaction you’re getting here. Blogging was a good move.

  20. amazing how much healing comes from (a) posting a post when all you can manage is short sentences with words of two syllables or less, and (b) getting the help and support of friends and finally (c) posting the post after this.

    having vented, interacted, and finally gathered some thougths that were quite scattered, i feel much better. oh, and i did have some beer too. but it was the blogging that really made the difference.

  21. thanks, Robyn, yeah, i remember that fire. and the aftermath. i may not have even commented, it may have seemed one of those, oh what do you say? it hits hard when it’s so close.

    so thanks for this.

    thanks to *everyone* who commented and helped me get through this.

    life is so fucking precious.

  22. It’s nothing to look at. I’m sorry it happened so close to you. I’m sorry he died and for those left behind.
    And I agree with Kitty. It has nothing to do with weakness. One shouldn’t make quick judgements like that. Those who has been down that road knows it has nothing to do with pride or being to weak to deal with some issues. Like Kitty, I’ve experienced it myself. It’s a long prosess, it’s not something you do just because you have a bad day or feel down a week or two.

  23. If my comment sounds angry I’m sorry, it was not my intention as I’m not angry or addressing anyone in particular, except agreeing with Kitty.

  24. Indeed it is kd, life, despite it’s problems is VERY precious and so finite. Here this moment and gone the next. Note how the moment a person passes on, everything about them suddenly is reported in the past tense, “he was a good guy” etc. So unpredictable. I have always heard people say that folks who choose suicide are very strong. I believe that they are weak as well, many of them also have Psychiatric disease which is a big risk factor for suicide. Too weak to deal with issues or perhaps too proud to talk and ask for help. It is sad, sad, sad. I’ve siad this before and I’ll say it again, I don’t think that I could ever get to the point where I feel that I would take my own life. (we should never categorically say never, as life circumstances can really screw you sometimes.) I’m ready to listen, talk, dissuade, rescue, whatever needs to be done for anyone I know (or even a stranger) to stop them from picking this option, it is just a permanent end to problems that are often of a temporary nature. Enough of me and my ‘post sized’ comments.

  25. Damn. You know, for a person to really go and kill themself (with true intentions of doing so), they must have a lot of pain going on inside. It’s really sad to think of how much he must have been dealing with to go to such an extreme. And as far as talking to someone goes – yuh right. There’s only so much talking can do. People saying “It will get better,” or “It will be okay” or “You don’t have it that bad” – only makes a person feel worse.

    It’s really sad. Terribly sad. Kitty said some good stuff. I agree.

  26. Sorry you went thru that kd. Glad that you talked about it.

    Dr. D – your comment yesterday kind of took me aback when you said “Awful. Why don’t these people talk about their problems or seek assistance?” only because I thought you would understand the nature of suicide – possibly through your training or your rotation through psych.

    Then this morning, your post including “Too weak to deal with issues or perhaps too proud to talk and ask for help.”

    I am not picking on you, and I suspect your intentions were not to talk about the “suicidal patient” but rather to commiserate with kd about how awful it must have been for her.

    I just had to clarify that the suicidal patient – at least what *I* am familiar with – has little regard for anyone else. It’s themselves. It’s being unable to talk to anyone about it because when one is so far down, their minds are made up. They are ill. It’s a disease. Of course they have psychiatric problems. They are not of the same mind as those that sit and analyze the reasons one would do such a thing.

    Suicide is incomprehensible to anyone who has never experienced depression so deep that there really is no other solution than to leave it all behind. To put an end to the pain. Suicide is the only way.

    I speak as someone who has indeed experienced it. The last time (7 yrs ago) I truly died. I was in the trauma room and being resuscitated with CPR and pressors etc., while my husband was being asked if he wanted to donate any of my organs. But I made it. It wasn’t my time to die.

    I am much, much better now. It’s in my past. But not that far away that I don’t remember how hopeless I felt, and how disturbed I really was.

    Sorry for the long post, but I just felt the need to clarify. It’s not about the person being too weak or too proud to ask for help. It’s just much deeper than that.

  27. oh wow. how odd it must have felt for you to know that this man was there that morning and gone a few hours later. i’m trying to put myself in your shoes, and i can only think that even if i didn’t know him well, i would be deeply affected and terribly confused as to why he committed this irreversable act. i’m so sorry you have been faced with this.

  28. I’m not sure if you were reading my blog then, but we had a neighbor four doors down commit suicide this spring by shooting himself and then burning the house to the ground. Like you, I blogged it as it was going on around us as well. There’s just something about needing to talk, even when you don’t know what to say, sometimes… Thinking of you!

  29. In my job, I’ve probably seen more death than anyone I know. It’s strange how after the first one or two, you end up detaching it from real life. You feel that you should feel something, but instead you just wonder what’s taking the coroner so long, where you’re going for lunch, what you’ll do after work. If I didn’t have this reaction, I would have had to give up my job years ago. But it also makes you feel just a little less human sometimes, even though you aren’t.

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