As you can see from my last posting, my friend Rob died last week. Well, he didn't exactly just die. He killed himself. He's struggled with depression for most of his adult life, which made him hopeless. It makes me sad. Very, very sad. I haven't even talked with Rob in several years, but I still considered him my friend.
I have to believe that Rob is happier now. At least, his earthly sorrow must be gone, since it was a consequence of living in this mortal world. Just like if he'd been in physical pain, the emotional pain he was in must be gone. I'm so glad the church has backed away from the hurtful doctrine about suicide being murder. I can't imagine where their hearts, sensitivity, and heck, spiritual discernment were. Didn't an apostle recently say we cannot judge what their state was when they died? I cannot believe Rob, the amazing, good man that he is, would be so condemned.
Rob's obituary said he was kind and good, and treated everyone in a way that made them feel special. I think this is true. I remember the long talks we had about everything from doctrine to psychology to our lives, and how well he could listen and appreciate good conversation (mine, of course!). He was a wonderful musician, and I pay him the highest tribute when I say that, as a ward organist, he never bugged me. That is an achievement! He played the right speed and tempo, and didn't screw up. Is this damning with faint praise? I swear, this is a HUGE compliment! Rob also had a great singing voice. I remember him singing one of the "We Three Kings" verses in church around Christmas a few years ago, and thinking how gifted he was. And cute, too.
Of course I simultaneously want to believe and do not want to believe that I could have helped him had I been around for him these past few years. But I cannot believe I would have made a difference. From all accounts, he was married to a wonderful woman, and he had great sisters and parents. I just wish I could have. I wish he didn't feel so hopeless, so despondent, so certain things would never get better. I wish he was still happy, thoughtful, caring, and alive.
We'll miss you, Rob. I hope you are at peace now. Our world is darker without you.