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.


  1. Dear Ole, Vivian just told me about this entry and I found it – good for you for having such an attitude about suicide and life. It has certainly paid off where you are concerned! Anyway, February is a great month and a difficult one, too. Both you and I were born in Feb,so that’s good!! I hope you get this as I’ve never done this before. Love, Karin

  2. I went to Ware County Senior High and remember Henning, he had a strong life force I think he would be proud of you, this is well written. So sorry for your loss. Hope he caught the perfect wave.

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