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So…I learned today that someone who started with my employer at the same time as me killed him self.  My employer is making resources available for people to process the situation, but I don’t really want to talk about it with a stranger…since a large part of why it hits hard is because I’ve been that dark and desperate before.  And I don’t want that conversation happening with a work resource.  I’d rather talk about it with my therapist, but I don’t see him until Monday, which seems like a long time away.

so, anyone have ideas?  I feel weird that it’s hitting me Hard because I didn’t know the guy well.  But I did know him somewhat.  We went to lunch together a few times when we were starting out as part of a group.  He was incredibly gracious and sweet and welcoming.  I’m also worried about the impact this might have on others of us who started at the same time.

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dances -

When you say you feel 'weird', can you be more specific? Can you give a name to the feelings? An event has occurred within your sphere that, although it did not affect you directly, has reverberated through your mind and spirit because you associate its details with aspects of your own experience. Also, even though you did not know him well, you knew him better than not at all - there is still a sense of proximity that prevents you from being able to treat the event as something that happened to someone unknown and far away.

Your having been in a dark place yourself places you in a position where asking the inevitable question - why would he do that? - unavoidably causes you to revisit negative territory in your own thought processes. When you do, try saying to yourself, aloud, "I understand." You need not attempt to comprehend his despair within your own mind, lest you enter such a state yourself by catharsis; you can simply acknowledge that you have felt a similar way, and know that his action had a cause.

We know that suicidality is never a normal state of a well mind. His cognition was therefore compromised, and this led to his fatal choice and action. Looking for a rational reason for this is fruitless; it was, and always is, save in certain very rarified circumstances, an irrational act.

What has been done cannot be undone. Until you can see your therapist, it is best not to look backward in that direction. Tell yourself that you understand that he did it, and that you understand the state of mind that could have led him to it, and leave it at that for the moment. There is nothing further you can do. In the time to come, people will ask the expected questions, what could have been so terrible, could something have been done, why did no one notice, and so forth, all in the process of reacting to the shock and surprise. But none of it will change the fact, and people will eventually carry on because that is the only thing there is to do.

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