I’m taking a break from posting about writing books in order to jot about something of more importance.
I didn’t know Tom that well (not his real name,) but we immediately connected. Perhaps it was because we were both retired dinosaurs from the music biz; he, the drummer, and I, the bassist. Maybe it was how we were wired: artistic, perfectionist men prone to depression.
Funny thing is, I didn’t realize Tom struggled with depression until I was at his funeral. As friends and family paid homage, the topic was discussed, and I quickly realized that those closest to Tom were unaware of how dark his last days were. Suddenly, depression wasn’t a laughing matter.
To this day, I’m still shocked Tom took his life. As a designer, he was stellar. Take a look at the picture above. Pure artistry! The man was winning awards left and right. In regards to business, he was professional, expected the best, and delivered beyond a client’s expectations.
And yet, he was troubled.
His wife called me the other day to get tax information. Pain still tinged her voice. Christmas must have been hell. I did my best to console her without reopening wounds. I offered her any business help I could and told her I would continue to pray for her, their son, daughter-in-law, and grandson. Not much of an answer to one with so many unanswered questions. But I had to say something. I had to connect.
Like most survivors of suicides, I wondered if there was something I could have done differently to save Tom’s life. Did I miss the sadness behind a joke? Was his serious demeanor due to business woes or something worse?
To be honest, I know there was nothing I could have done. Our relationship was only business and we’d only known each other for a few months. Judging by the comments after the funeral, no one saw this coming. And yet, I still wonder, and wonder, and wonder…
So what’s my point? If you’re like me, my life is way too fast. I spend too much time maintaining shallow relationships on social media only to discover I’m loosing touch with my humanity, as well as my real friends.
So this morn, let me prescribe the following…
To those of us who struggle with depression, step away from social media and go have coffee with a friend. Listen to what they’re saying, to what they’re not saying, and then share your heart.
Laugh. Cry. Smile. CONNECT.
For those of you who don’t battle the “black dog,” get out of social media and go have coffee with a friend. Listen to what they’re saying, and to what they’re not saying…
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a phone call to make.
I need to have lunch with a friend.
I've played bass for Shania Twain, had a black rhino charge me while on safari, and I've been in the Oval Office. In high school, I went backstage to interview groups like Bob Seger, Rush and Kansas, sorta like "Almost Famous" but without Kate Hudson! As an author, I draw from all these experiences (and then some) when crafting my stories. The quote that sums me up the best is by G.K. Chesterton: "Nay, the really sane man know that he has a touch of the madman." I'm married, the father of four wonderful children, and a proud grandfather. I currently live near Nashville, TN where I write, bike and am always on the prowl for adventure and stories.