October 21, 2007

Troubled Minds

A friend of the family has killed himself. Drove his motorcycle to the top of H-3 in Hawaii and jumped off. My mother-in-law and her husband are beside themselves. Sweetie and I met him while vacationing there in November 2004. Nice guy with an incredible talent for carpentry. He was the chief force behind Mom and George's remodel. But, more than that, he was family. He lived with them, ate with them. Mom and George took care of him in too many ways to number. He was a 40+ year old adult, but he struck us all as an impulsive child.

From what I know of Nick he was a very likable and caring person, though in his own life he never really could get it together in the usual 'welcome to the adult world' we think of. He was a talented carpenter, but his life seemed chaotic and he just sort of drifted. Mom and George probably provided him with as much stability as he had ever known. George's doctor says he may have been undiagnosed bi-polar.

Anyway... my heart is breaking for Mom and George. And as always, when I hear of something like this, the icy finger of dread pokes at my own heart, because like many, mental illness is a fact of life for me. My only child battles her own mental wars and can depart reason at a moment's notice. Like Nick, she's good at putting up a cheerful and competent front while all the while awash in despair and grayness. Is it just a matter of time? I hope not.

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