The Ties That Bind

A topic came up in the FFOS/POS email support group that I’m a part of that made me think. Several people in the group talked about how their loved one kept themselves removed from things that would connect them to life. A number of them didn’t have relationship, didn’t have pets… It seemed like for those people’s loved ones, the option of suicide was always kind of there, in the back of their minds… a backup plan.

It got me thinking about Ian, and how he lived for the last few years of his life. After the last two relatively quick in succession heart-breaks he had, I think maybe he – purposefully or not – started living like that. He would start relationships that obviously couldn’t last. He wouldn’t start relationships that had potential to be good and long term. He refused to get any sort of pet. He kept his family and friends separate from each other. I don’t know if that last part was something he did his whole life, but it seems like maybe it wasn’t. It even seems like he kind of pulled away from long-term friends and his family some.

All these things, in isolation, are fairly normal parts of life. People drift in and out, relationships get closer and further apart. People keep their friends and family separate, for various reasons. They don’t want pets for various reasons… none of it is alarming. But if it were possible to see the whole picture, see all of those things together, maybe it would have been.

That wasn’t possible. For any of us. He made sure of that. And who knows if he was doing it consciously or not? I don’t. From what I knew of him, I think maybe not. I think he had justifiable reasons for each thing, and even he probably didn’t consciously put it all together. It was him subconsciously preparing for what he felt might be his best option.

I think maybe toward the end, he had been pulling away from everyone a little harder… and he got to a point where he was pretty sure that no one relied solely on him for anything. Maybe toward the end it all came together in his mind, and he knew what he was doing.

Definitely, he underestimated how much he mattered to everyone who knew him.

Written 7/10/2014

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