No, it’s not

A few days ago, Garrett pointed to one of Al‘s old blog entries titled “Suicide is Painless-Not!”

I read it, and went about my business.

Today at the end of Torah Study, Rabbi Aron said that [name] was in the ICU at Kaiser Santa Teresa and that the prognosis was negative, and that his husband, [name2], would welcome visitors. She went on to say that [name2] didn’t want any misconceptions about what had happened: [name] was suffering from depression, and had attempted suicide.

After services, we ran into mutual friends in the parking lot who said that Rabbi Aron was going over to the hospital to talk with [name2], who was ready to sign a DNR order for [name] — so if we were planning to visit, now was the time.

So we rearranged our tickets for Pride and Prejudice and went to the hospital to do what we could to support [name2]. We had no problems finding the ICU, and other friends were going in at the same time, so we went directly to [name]’s room. He was lying on the bed, with a ventilator breathing for him, hooked up to various monitors which kept beeping ominiously from time to time. [name2] was in the hallway behind the room, with yet more friends (I’m sure we were well over the hospital’s visitor limit). He greeted us and said that he was waiting for the neurolgist’s report, but that all signs indicated that all that was left was to say “goodbye” to [name].

I don’t know if [name] felt any pain. I do know that [name2] did.

[Name2] said that the reason he hadn’t tried to “protect” [name] by telling people that there’d been an accident was that he thought that if people knew what had happened — that [name] had attempted to kill himself because of depression — that it might help someone else. And especially that it might convince someone who saw that someone else was talking about suicide (or was just depressed) to get that person some help.

And that’s why I’m relating their story. At this point, it’s the most useful thing I can do for either of them.

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