of Joes

February 17, 2012

This is Joe. Joe Clyde.
Please, say his name. Aloud or to yourself.
Please acknowledge him. Affirm with me, that he lived.
He was kind, generous, funny, reserved, complex. He was my co-worker and he was my Friend.
I normally resist these public expressions of such private revelations but my regard for this Man, and the loss of him, compels me.
When someone takes their own life, we are left wondering if somehow we might have made a difference, if we had could have reached out to them more, possibly stemming the anguish that propelled them. The truth is…probably not, but that the demons that tortured Joe and the too many others, are often entrenched and irreconcilable.
Before working on the Coronado Bridge, where I was to intercept potential jumpers, I had very little understanding of suicide or those that were so destitute of hope or choice. I have little more understanding now but have considerably more compassion for those considering it.
Occasioning within feet of someone ending their own lives, can have that effect.
By no means a mental heath expert, I am still hesitant to assign the ever convenient labels of “sick” or “deranged” to the anguished.
Desperate, perhaps. Resigned, assuredly, but also maybe just tired. Too exhausted to continue the daily toil of convincing themselves they matter, are loved, needed and have purpose.
Of course, there are some that consider the end for spite. To lash out in an unforgettable, irretractable measure to burden some remaining with the guilt of conclusion.
Some consider the opposite. Driven by the genuine concern for loved ones and wanting to save them the trial and grief of watching a slow agonizing wasting from disease. Say nothing of wanting to end the needless physical pain of an already determined end.
As a Catholic, it is not a path I could ever take. As a human being, it is not one I can condemn either.
The choice to end one’s own life invariably touches the lives of so many left behind but ultimately the decision to leave us can only be that of the soul that is faced making it.
Even so, say his name now. Aloud or to yourself and then…someone else’s, someone else you know that might brighten or take heart that you called, asked after them, wondered about their well being.
I pray Joe finds the peace now, that proved so elusive in life.

4 Responses to “of Joes”

  1. Amy Dawn said

    Bless your hearts. I acknowledge you, Joe Clyde, and you friend… I’ve been at that boundary line which so many see fit to cross. God has rescued me plenty of times, not ready for me to end my journey. We all have purpose. Sometimes, it just takes a bit longer than others to find that purpose. I hope you find peace in knowing your friend is NOT in a terrible place. I think a person who commits suicide has a moment of weakness, much like many demons will do to mankind, in which the evil one creates a lie and this person believes it. I also believe God recognizes this and loves that person despite that moment. If times does not exist to God, he is not a respector of persons, and he “knew you before time”, then He knew the final outcome of our lives. The God I serve is a living and loving God, not one who punishes an already broken heart. The flesh sins, not the spirit. Peace and love to you, my friend. I pray Joe Clyde is awaiting our arrival and that he no longer remembers the pains of his time here on earth. God Bless you!

    • ofreh said

      Thank you, Amy, for reading and commenting. I am in awe of those that choose to fight on with inward struggles that cling with equal determination.
      I don’t understand God’s plan and spend very little time trying to, thinking instead, that I’m not meant to. I just trust and try to keep Faith in the face of so much despair and hardship.
      For it is in that very face, I find solace and hope for all of us, taking strength from those like you, who give me reason to believe. Thank you.

  2. baclyde said

    I also pray that Joe awaiting our arrival, and no longer has the pain he had here on earth. I will meet “my boy/my son” sometime when God chooses. But I miss him terribly.

  3. Exceptional post however , I was wondering if you could write a litte more on this topic?
    I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit more.
    Bless you!

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