Recently a friend of mine committed suicide. He wasn’t a close friend, more of a friend-quaintance; someone who is more of an acquaintance but you run into them frequently and they’re friends with your other friends but the two of you don’t hang out. We participated in some charity photo events together.
He had attained a level of success as a photographer that I dream about. His work was published across several cities, every weekend was booked with top-dollar weddings, he had a studio of his own… In fact, the June calendar on his website shows he’s booked every weekend through the summer wedding season. He made money doing what he loved and that is most every artists dream.
He was in his 40’s. He was engaged once, but the engagement ended. I don’t know why. His current girlfriend was 20 years his junior. They didn’t live together. He regularly fostered kittens from a local shelter. He regularly posted his work on social media.He shot a wedding and posted edited photos online less than a week before he died and posted macro photos of garden flowers days before he died.
His mother died a few weeks ago. He was sad, but normal-sad. He wasn’t the sort of sad that most of us assume suicidal people might be. He wasn’t the sort of un-showered, despondent, sullen, withdrawn sort of sad. He was sad like any other person who lost a parent but didn’t commit suicide. No one saw this coming.
What is most shocking to me is that he achieved his dream. He achieved the dream of running a successful photography business where he could support himself from his art and had thousands of fans. Then he killed himself. He had family, friends, pets, thousands of fans…then he killed himself.