Monday, October 05, 2009

R.I.P. Turd

“Did you hear? Doug _______ committed suicide.”

That’s how I found out my former boss – known here as The Turd – killed himself last Friday. Via a Facebook email message from a former co-worker.

Apparently he hung himself in his living room. Rumor has it he was found by several family members, possibly one of his children. No one from his/my former company attended the funeral.
I don’t know how to feel about this yet.
When friends asked if I harbored any ill feelings towards him, I’d always say that karma would catch up with him. I told myself I didn’t necessarily need to see it happen. I just knew that his story wouldn’t end well.

But this. This is something different.

Something to ponder.
He was a man who blamed everyone else for his troubles. So it seems fitting that he’d kill himself and let his family find him – a final ‘fuck you’ from someone who truly did not get the human condition.

Part of me wants to know every detail. Did he use a ladder? A rope? What was he wearing? Did he leave a note?
His boundless anger showed in his face – it was always red, bordering on crimson. When he smiled, he looked just like the Grinch.

I wonder if he finally lost that look. If he appeared peaceful.
There are remembrances on his ‘death notice’ page. The trend of leaving condolences via a web site bugs the shit out of me for some reason – but I couldn’t keep myself from reading all of the posts.

He was 50. And there were 35 notes.

I don’t know if that’s high or low.

But I do know that the person they’re remembering is not the person we knew professionally. Some people actually loved him and will miss him.

The word incongruous keeps popping into my head.
Apparently his two business partners told him he was no longer welcome in the office earlier this year. He was unemployed, yet still owned part of the business. He did not receive a paycheck. He could not find work and became a stay at home dad to his four kids.
I just realized that rumor rhymes with tumor.
When people say ‘rumor has it’, it’s because no one else will claim it.
On the days when I was sitting in his office waiting to be yelled at, he’d often chat with his oldest son on the phone, the one who plays hockey.

He was stern and always ended the calls with “Work hard.”

These are words it's hard to find fault with – sound advice from any parent.

And yet if that was all his child heard – well who knows. I sure don’t.
I used to fantasize about running into him somewhere in the city. On my good days, I’d smile and nod but say nothing.

On my bad days I’d smile and ask him how life was treating him and if he'd found work and maybe call him a worthless douchebag or fuckwad or something equally charming/creative.

Am I sad because I won’t have that opportunity?
I remember being shocked when Doug admitted he was voting for Obama.

“It might not be best for me or my business, but it’s best for our country.”

It was the only thing I’d ever heard him say that was both reasonable and utterly selfless.
In my better moments, I’d recognize that he was deeply disturbed. That underneath all of that anger he carried a ton of hurt. That understanding why he acted that way was more important than how he treated others.

But I also vented about him here. A lot.

And maybe that’s why I’m struggling with how to feel right now.

I’m sad because I wasn’t more compassionate.

I don’t kid myself that I could’ve made a difference in his life – the thought is utterly ridiculous – but the truest test of our own morality, of the best version of ourselves is how we treat others when they’re hurting, when they are the worst version of themselves.
I am listening to: A Kiss to Build a Dream On - Louis Armstrong
I am reading: Twilight Book 4
And I am: Still figuring it out


judy said...

I'm speechless....

YKW said...

Meg: The last time I spoke with Alex, we had a fight. I yelled at him.
Nick: That's probably why he killed himself... What was the argument about?
Meg: I told him he was wasting his life

Hedy said...

Classic, YKW. I forgot about that scene from The Big Chill. Perfect.

molly gras said...

I've never known anyone personally who's killed themselves; therefore, and for some reason, this blog post and your experience kind of freaks me out ...

Hedy said...

Hey Molly - I think you nailed it. I've never known anyone personally who's done this so it was shocking. Thanks for being here still. xoxo

Kvatch said...

Setting aside the loss of someone you knew...

Like so many things associated with Twitter, getting the notice that somebody killed themselves over that medium seems somehow wrong, creepy almost.

mirzadude said...

OMG!!! Turd's gone??? WOW!!! Reminds me of an argument I had with someone years ago on why that person needed a change in life (as this person was always complaining about their life)... and jumped off a bridge that night - still spooks me.