Wednesday, October 30, 2013

He Took His Own Life

harvest moon  by Jessica Winderl

He took his own life

On October 29, my cousin Jared , age 19, took his own life.  As my cousin Michael put it, he
“ingested a shotgun.”
I learned this on Facebook last night, on Michael’s post.  Michael is Jared’s uncle.  Caroline is Jared’s mom, Michael’s sister, Tom’s daughter, and my first cousin, once removed.

Following that?

This is the Irish side of my family.  My father’s side. My father, who was the second youngest of seven.

All of the members of my father’s generation are dead now.  My father’s older brother Tom had three sons, the oldest of which is also named Tom; he is the oldest living member of our generation now. I’m at the other end – the youngest of these six cousins.

I was fifteen when I was the godmother to Caroline, Tom’s second child.   This Jared is her son.
He was 19.  

I never met him, only saw lovely photos of him from babyhood.  His life and death, his anguish and depression, are a mystery to me, but very real.

He is the third member of my family to commit suicide.

My cousin Tommy ( another Tom!) the grandson of my father’s brother, also shot himself, at age 32, in 2000.  Very different circumstances, but the same tragedy.

The first one was my uncle Dan – on the Pennsylvania Dutch side of the family.  He was probably in his forties when he shot himself back behind the barn on his farm in Lancaster County.  I remember it; I was 12 at the time. 

These tragedies of depression --- I understand them more than I want to explain.

No comments: