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robzy

That was just as hard as I expected, yet 10 times harder

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On Wednesday I came home, and was told that a family friend had committed suicide. He was the eldest son of my parents friends, and while I hadn't seen him in many years, I have fond memories of him. I have fond memories from back in the day when he used to babysit my brother and I.

 

He shares a first name with my brother, which for inexplicable reasons was always the source of much amusement to our young minds. My memories with him always seem to include at least one conversation about how he was "Big [Name]" and my brother was "Small [Name]."

 

At first I kinda hoped that it was a miscommunication, that perhaps the news had been exaggerated. The fact that his sister was staying at her aunt's place complicated my attempt hope for the best, but I just didn't think about it. And of course, there was no such luck, the next day I was told that his parents were on their way back from their holiday in China, my mind wandered to think about what a horrible phone call that would've been, but I couldn't really bear to think about it.

 

He always stood out as being a unique person. A bit alternative, anti-consumerism, a songwriter, an author. He was described in his younger sister's eulogy as a shmoozer. A Yiddish word which roughly translates to being a social butterfly, getting to know everyone you meet and creating a connection with them. It would seem that people really did adore him, their sentiments about him lighting up a room and engaging with his eclectic (yet intellectual) personality strongly echoed what I remembered of him.

 

I recognise that suicide is all too common in our society, but I can't help but feel that the Jewish community is under-represented in those statistics. It's not quite as common a thing as it would appear to be in the wider community, or as my brother put it in a sombre tone; "wow, how many people that went to [private Jewish day school] commit suicide?"

 

Mum, I think, took the news similar to me. It didn't come down on her like a tonne of bricks, but yesterday when we were talking it became clear that (like me) it had been playing at her mind. It's really a tragedy.

 

I'm usually excited to go new places, check out somewhere new. Having reason to go to the new Jewish cemetery, though, didn't ring this proverbial bell.

 

It's customary to bring a grieving family food. Mum wasn't sure what was going on, when she'd have an opportunity to see them, but she made a big pot of vegetable soup nonetheless. She sent an SMS asking when she could bring it over, only to be told that they weren't ready for company yet. Can't really blame them, and reinforced just how horrible this all was (as if I needed to me reminded).

 

It's getting to that point in time where a lot of grandparents are dying, my parents (and even I) have been to too many funerals over the past couple of years. But it was painfully obvious that this was going to be far worse. That thing about the tragedy (I feel like I'm using that word a lot) of parents burying their children has been nagging on my mind, along with how that must apply doubly so if the child took their own life.

 

 

My first thought when arriving at the funeral was about how little time it took to get their. Despite this new cemetery being further away than the old one, having most of that distance covered on a freeway made it less of a journey. I chose not to think about the implication of my thoughts, that others peoples' deaths will be less of an inconvenience for now. I bet most people, this being their first time to the cemetery, were having the same thoughts.

 

It was packed. Which was no surprise. He was not the type to be short of friends, and a considerable number of his parents friends were there.

 

The service was painful. A eulogy written by his parents was delivered by his uncle, who impressively kept his composure throughout. This was followed by a eulogy from his sister, and two more by two of his close friends. I don't think that there was a dry eye in the house, it was heart wrenching, and at times all I can remember were endless sobs. Again, I've been to funerals before, but a funeral for a young man... a peer in ways... who took his own life? I found myself squeezing my jacket, and (which didn't look as weird as it sounds) rubbing the bridge of my nose to hold back the tears.

 

I'm not sure if this is the same in non-Jewish funerals, but the sound of the dirt hitting the coffin is harrowing. It sends blunt shivers to my very core. It's something I tend to forget about after funerals, and this time again it caught me by surprise. No more I'm guessing, that shit is etched into my mind.

 

Having run out of things to say I was going to end the post there, but it felt like much too abrupt an ending. Instead I'm just going to point out that instead of going to uni to prepare for a job interview I chose to come home and be with the family. Despite the fact that, as usual, we're all in separate rooms doing our own things, I get the feeling that we all feel a little more comfortable being at home with each other at the moment.

 

Rob.

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Hope you, your family and friends are holding up alright, man.

 

That's about all I've got to say, really.

Edited by hectorbustnuts

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for those very reasons ive never been to a funeral.

 

I remember the person who died, I dont want to see them in a box.

Its a personal thing.

 

hang tough man, good...something.... to all involved.

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Funerals are a hard enough thing to get through at the best of times, let alone for someone so young and in such conditions... there will always be the "why?", or "could I have done anything to change this?".

 

All you can do is hope that he is at peace.

 

*e-hugs*

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I had a friend/workmate commit suicide. 2 years on I still have a photo of him on my desk.

 

If you can't release the tears, at least give somone a hug.

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I offer my sincere condolences robzy. The loss of someone is always so heart-wrenching. For them to be so young and in such a way is truly tragic. I feel for you, your family and his family.

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Having run out of things to say I was going to end the post there, but it felt like much too abrupt an ending. Instead I'm just going to point out that instead of going to uni to prepare for a job interview I chose to come home and be with the family. Despite the fact that, as usual, we're all in separate rooms doing our own things, I get the feeling that we all feel a little more comfortable being at home with each other at the moment.

What ever way you chose to spend the day would have been the right way for you.

 

I'm sorry for the loss you and your family are feeling.

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for those very reasons ive never been to a funeral.

That just shows your lack of moral fibre.

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Very sad mate :( Suicide is a hard thing to come to terms with because the reason why is seldom known by anyone but the victim. I wish your and his family's the best, and hope you all find comfort in each other.

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No jokes here, Mr.

 

Be strong little Rob!

 

I had a friend with a Bi-polar mother who suicided after an argument on the phone with him at christmas time, he pulled through that better than anyone I've seen.

 

Puts shit in perspective for sure.

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