Due to a privacy/confidentiality constraint, I’m not at liberty to discuss an event that occurred over the weekend. I will relate, however, a personal story. When I was 10, my brother took his own life. Henning, my brother, led a life directly opposite that of mine. That is, he was emotionally troubled and generally angry. For a person such as Henning, there is no formula or trick to knowing the eventual outcome of their life. He was angry, drinking as a minor, and listening to heavy metal music as a young teen. He served as a statistic to the stereotype so common in the 80’s. If I’ve learned nothing else, I’ve learned that these common signs of teen angst are not death warrants. Perseverance is something you have in yourself, or don’t. I too listened to controversial music, had a few drinks, and was angry occasionally. I believe it was my own will that allowed me to survive through my troubled teenaged years. Perhaps some are more troubled than others, or perhaps they just let it get to them more. As an adult in the workforce today, I see the same divisions in people. Some take everything with a grain of salt; others turn all external problems into themselves. I’m about as laid-back as they come, but I have an understanding of what drives people to their end. I have the greatest sympathy for the surviving families of suicides, but it’s difficult to pity the dead. Because one was unable to cope with life and deal with the range of emotions it brings us, everyone else must pay. It saddens all those involved, and hurts forever. Friday marks the 18th anniversary of my brother’s death and my mother is probably weeping as she reads this. I continue to use my brother’s excuse for ending his life as my excuse for continuing: because it’s hard and I want to see whats next.