I had a friend who posted a somewhat strange message on Facebook earlier today. I saw it at the time and just thought it a bit unusual. Within the last hour I found out that he had taken his own life sometime after that post. All I can feel is immense sadness that he felt this was the only way out of whatever was plaguing his soul.
What came to mind when I found out was this excerpt from John Donne’s Meditation XVII.
No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were: any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.
I am diminished.
UPDATE: The friend in question was Bob Owens who was the editor of BearingArms.com. He was found dead shortly after he posted the Facebook message I referred to above. I didn’t want mention his name before it really became public knowledge.
I was a longtime reader of Bob’s from his Confederate Yankee blog days and was excited for him when he was named editor of BearingArms.com. I first met Bob at the Lucky Gunner Bloggershoot in 2011 and would always see him at the NRA Annual Meeting. I spoke to him a few times over the weekend at the recent NRA Annual Meeting in Atlanta and he seemed like the Bob I had known for years. Reading what others have written and especially that of Jenn Jacques, I get the impression that whatever was plaguing Bob’s soul was well hidden.
Pray for Bob’s family and especially for his wife and daughters. They will need all of God’s love to get through this tragic period.
Andrew Branca has mentioned setting up a college fund for Bob’s daughters. When I know more about that, I will post about it.
If you feel that suicide is the only way out, reach out for help. The National Suicide Prevention Hotline number is 1-800-273-8255. Alternatively, email or message me. I’m not a trained psychologist but I am a good listener.