I was half waiting to hear that the terrible news of GD's untimely death was all a big mistake. But notes and reports were posted on University web-pages and there were also the obituary and notices of the funeral service. Seeing his photo in the notice or the obituary issued by the funeral home does not make it any more real to me. Is that the same person that I knew, touched, and held close to me once? This is beyond absurd.
The strangest thing of it all is that no information whatsoever about the cause and circumstances of his death is being released. No remark other than that he died "suddenly" and "unexpectedly." No information at all, anywhere, from anyone. Nobody seems to know or have heard anything. It's been over two weeks, and the viewing and the funeral are all over now. I find it extremely strange, as he was quite a prominent scholar in his field, too. It is as if those in the know are resolutely keeping some painful or damaging secret in order to protect the happy memories about the deceased. What could be so bad that they have to be so secretive? Are they really trying to hide something from public knowledge? It is impossible to shake off a dark, ominous feeling.
Knowing that GD had a history of alcoholism and depression, I find myself reverting over and over to the image that I really would rather not envision. His depression was under control with medication and therapy, as far as I know. He also kicked his alcoholism quite a few years ago with continuous participation in the AA meetings. When I saw him last in 2010, he told me he would still go to the meeting every now and then. And recently he seemed finally happy. Why, then? What on earth happened? His usual itinerary is likely to have placed him in his parents' house around Christmas and the New Year's. One notice reported that he died late at night--and I didn't like the sound of that. Could he have gone out and had an unfortunate accident? But wouldn't it have been mentioned in that case? Was he in his own home? Or at his parents'? How does an apparently happy, healthy, and successful person with a history of alcoholism and depression die late at night in his or his parents' house, leaving the loved ones behind? There must be other ways, of course, but for now I can only think of one very particular way. And I don't know what to think or how to feel about this. I would be happy to learn from some one that this is only my sick imagination running wild.
G, I don't know which is worse, honestly: being forced out of life unwillingly by an accident or some sudden illness when everything else was good, or finally choosing to get out of this world which somehow did not suit you any longer. The two possibilities seem equally cruel--both to you and to others close to you. But a clinically depressed person's suicide is not really a choice. It is a surrender to the dark force that overwhelms and dominates. What did you do? Or, what befell you, should I rather ask? This not knowing, though ultimately of no consequence, is profoundly unsettling, to say the least. The person who now has a claim to all your life and death is not sharing with anyone what she knows. Is she trying to protect you? Or herself? I long to look to you for some little intimation of your wherefores. But now that you're over this world and beyond, there is no knowing what kind of gaze you're sending back. Did you, really? Did you? All I do not see and hear seems to be pointing to that possibility, but I am still unbelieving. In my unbelief, however, I keep hoping that you finally found peace, G.