A few days ago, a friend of mine ended his life and his suffering by committing suicide.

He was a gentle man, with unrelenting wit and sarcasm and a clever mind.  He loved quoting Heinlein and was always up for new adventures, like when he took me to the Great Bull Run.

We talked about suicide.  Me, because I had slipped into a deep depression after I lost a son to cancer.  Him, because he lost a girlfriend to suicide.  He told me that if he were a book, he’d be “Time Enough for Love” by Heinlein, which is the story of the oldest living man who has decided he wants to commit suicide and is entertaining his audience with stories from his past.

When we discussed me being suicidal, I told him it was very passive.  That I just wanted my heart to stop beating.  I told him I didn’t want to live.  And Mark, having perhaps explored this area better than I, remarked that there was a difference between wanting to die and not wanting to live.

I blogged about Mark frequently, under a pseudonym.  He was my muse.  I had a thing for him, which I let go of but still felt a little tickle of something when I thought of him.  He and I swapped video messages and I have a collection of him talking to me that I can’t bear to look at right now, but that I will someday cherish.

When I think of how he suffered, I can only imagine the depth of his pain which led him to take his own life.

He will be missed by many and until the end of our days.

Life is precious.

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