Thursday, October 28, 2010

To End It All

Sometimes the pain of life becomes too much to bear. The only way out, the only to slay the demons, the only way to end the pain is to end it all -- commit suicide.

Last night my wife and I watched one of our favorite TV program: Storm Chasers on The Discovery Channel. As is my wont, after the program ended, I had to race up to my computer to visit the Storm Chasers home page to satisfy more of my vicarious storm chasing fix. While motoring around the site, I happened to peek at the blurb for next week's episode. Here's how it reads:
Episode 4: Dedication
Premiere: Nov. 3 at 10 PM
Sean finally gives the reigns to his meteorologist and navigator Matt Hughes, who leads the team to their best tornado intercept ever. Then triumph turns to tragedy as Storm Chasers loses one of its own.
What do they mean by "loses one of its own?" Does someone walk off the set or, more ominously, does this suggest someone died?!

Well, I just HAD to know. So, I started surfing for the answer. Just as I found a link that mentioned that the allusion DID pertain to the unexpected death of a member of one of the chase teams, my brother called. We talked for nearly 2 hours and I was ready for bed after that. Still, I noted to myself that I needed to remember to resume my web search when I got up.

Of course, when I awoke this morning, I didn't remember what I had told myself the night before. As I headed downstairs, I heard my wife gasp. "What's wrong?" I asked. "Oh my goodness, I received a message on my FaceBook page that storm chaser Matt Hughes died in May," she replied. So, that is the death the blurb refers to.

After conducting a bit more web research, it looks like Matt's death was the result of suicide. All the official reports merely state he died in a hospital in Wichita, Kansas. No cause of death even is hinted at (which is not uncommon in cases of suicide). I learned from reading a few message boards that Hughes had battled depression all 30 years of his life and his friends/colleagues have indicated he died from complications of a suicide attempt.

These revelations have really left me in a funk. He was one of my favorite storm chasers on the show and, not unlike many people, I had grown attached to this face I watch on my TV screen. I will probably write a bit more later regarding my thoughts and observations on the issue of suicide (or I may not), but right now all I feel is a deep sadness that I'm unable to put into words.

Follow-up posts: Suicide, Thinking We Know, and Who Was Matt Hughes?


  1. I hope that you do follow up on this post. Suicide is such a hard thing to understand.

    When I was about 12 a friend of the family committed suicide. He had been a pastor who was having serious troubles with some of the deacons at his church. They wanted the church to go one way, he wanted it to go another.

    He had struggled with depression in the past and this conflict only made his dark thoughts worse. When he died he left behind a wife and three children who were about my age.

    A little over a decade later, one of his sons committed suicide as well. The family had never really recovered from the father's death. I don't know how they dealt with a second family member committing suicide. It must have been really horrible.

    So, yes, please blog about this more. It's something that needs to be discussed.

  2. Understanding why someone dies from suicide is like trying to understand why someone dies form cancer. Killing yourself is not a choice. It is confusing because we like to think we have more control over our minds than our bodies. But that is a delusion. We can try to help someone suffering from the disease of depression (an outcome that is sometimes fatal) but that is all we can do.

    My nephew hung himself at 14 and my mother and brother attempted when I was young. I have been in the delusions of depression as well and realized at one point that I was not depressed, but that there was depression. Unattached to it, my suffering ended. Joy at last, no more happiness.

    I am sorry you are still suffering from attachment. Peace to you.

  3. Lydia,
    I'm sure I'll write about it one of these days, but the words aren't ready yet. I tried writing a post about it just now, but my thoughts are too jumbled. So, I'll let the ideas swirl in my head for a while and, when they decide they are ready to be revealed, I'll give it another shot. ;-)

    Yes, I do tend to be very attached to certain my own detriment, of course.


Comments are unmoderated, so you can write whatever you want.