About a year and a half ago, my mother's brother took his own life. Yesterday, my dad's brother did the same.
I did not know either uncle well.
This uncle was a friend of mine on Facebook. However, I'm pretty sure that in the months of our 'friendship' there that I didn't even send him a note to say hi. How incredibly sad is that? I'm so very disappointed in myself for that. He suffered from a great depression (I guess we could say that's a given in this case) but I didn't take the time to let him know that I cared, even though I didn't really know much about him. And I can't go back and fix it.
The part that makes me angry with this is his wife. She has been intending to kick him out of the house (and not for the first time). She has sent emails to his siblings trying to find somewhere for him to go. He hasn't had a job for a few years. His wife apparently was constantly making fun of him for it. That's helpful. The last job he had... she made fun of it. I'm sure at some point he thought to himself that he should maybe seek help. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if the main reason he didn't was because SHE WOULD HAVE MADE FUN OF HIM for doing it.
Now, I'm not trying to say that all of the blame lays at her feet. Obviously it all really starts with him. Depression is just so hard to overcome, even more so when you don't have a solid support system. And let's face it. That's part of being married. I don't care if you aren't in love anymore or whatever. You still have an obligation and responsibility to be supportive. My dad kept in contact with him... calls, birthday cards, etc. It was very one-sided, but he still did it. But that's just not enough for someone so deep in depression.
I really would like to be like my dad in that way. To keep in touch, even if the other person doesn't really. It says a lot about him, I think. But that's just how my dad is. He has never, and I'm sure will never, held a grudge. He's friendly and respectful to everyone he meets. If they had lived closer, I'm sure my dad would have made every effort to include him in the things he was doing and just finding time to do things together. But when you're hundreds of miles apart, it's kind of tough.
I'm sorry, Uncle D. for not doing my part to let you know you had family to lean on. I will miss you.
4 months ago