Thursday, May 28, 2009

In the shadows of the heart

This is a sad story, that is a real story, a true story maybe or as true as any story that you ever hear is, that on the surface looks like an attempted murder/suicide which always seems to involve a man murdering a woman and then killing himself. It seems a simple story, short and easy, with the slight twist that the woman managed to survive while the man offed himself permanently and forever. But there is never anything short and easy.

It's hard to know what to say about things like this when you know both the survivor and the family of the deceased. You say banalities like "I'm sorry for your loss", or things like "I only met him a couple of times but he seemed a good guy" to the family of the deceased, while wondering what demons would lead a man who had been friends with the woman for years without a hint of violence to suddenly break and try to kill her. Then there is the woman who only barely survived and is still a physical mess from the beating she took (she's a tough little thing otherwise she would be dead now), who was friends with the entire family and now not welcome at the funeral, she has to deal with her own injuries and the shock of betrayal by her former friend and sadness at now being estranged from so many other people who were her friends, what do you say to her? I tried my best but my best is pretty awkward, but I guess you do what you can do.

Then there's the problem of my own friendships with the people involved, and the awkwardness of interacting with the family of the deceased if they know I'm the one who told the woman about the funeral arrangements. I didn't know the story at the time, I'd seen the announcement of the funeral but not why it was happening, and send an email to her asking "did you know your old buddy had died?" and she hadn't known, she was too busy healing from the beating she took. Then I read the police report in the local newspaper of the county where it happened for the details...

It is sadness, is all. If you wonder why I haven't posted all day, I guess I'm just trying to process it all. May the Great Penguin show His mercy upon the souls of everybody involved, for surely all of the survivors need time and space for acceptance and healing...

-- Badtux the Saddened Penguin


  1. I had a similar situation several years ago when an old friend killed himself with a shotgun to the head. He didn't try to kill anyone else, but he did commit suicide in a place where he had to know his ex-girlfriend would be the first to find him.

    What do you say to the guy's family? To the ex who is now consumed with guilt? I sure as hell don't know.

  2. If it helps, I'll be sending you good thoughts all day.


  3. Geez, I didn't see that this story took place in your personal life until I clicked over to your blog from Google Reader. Otherwise I'd have said something earlier.

    I'm so sorry. Hugs from me, too, and wishes for good healing for your friend. I'm glad she survived, I hope she'll be okay in the end.


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