Dark tangent but fuck it,. Years back I was reading a memoir of a pathologist (a doctor who specializes in doing autopsies). He was Jewish, had been rounded up during WWII, and sent to a camp where he ended up working for Dr megele. He survived, few others did. I'd recommend it for the forward if I could remember the title. Anywho a rabbi had written the forward, which was an essay asking why all those people walked like sheep every step to thier deaths when for so much of the process the guards were so outnumbered they could have easily been overwhelmed. One of the points he hit was the idea of a death instinct. Humans are an anomaly, we are wired to die and we must chose life. Animals are wired to live at all costs. See cornered animal for example. Coyotes will chew off a leg caught in a trap without hesitation. Humans have to work at living. We like to lay down and quit.
I Did some handyman/janitorial work for a while and have seen what a mouse trapped on a sticky pad will do to itself trying to escape, literally to the last death by exhaustion gasp. We humans aren't like that. We have to choose life and fucking work for it. Climbing into a bottle is hitting pause, it's easy. Hitting play, choosing to live and push forward takes a conscious decision followed by a conscious effort.
During that same job (it was a shit period of life but an adventure I wouldn't trade) I made entry on a room another employee had overdosed in. He was still in his 20s but had broken a hip yrs prior. Pain Pills then alcohol. Most of us employees lived on property. I was pretty new only a month on the job but I'd seen this guy in action. Everywhere he went he had a backpack with a handle of whiskey. He was a server who worked split shifts breakfast service then dinner service. 5am start, off during mid day, back on for dinner service and off after closing at 10pm.
I'd seen him sock away so much he had to have been using uppers to keep going. To function at 5am after such a bender, something was going up his nose.
He wasn't the only one on property at the time but definately the champ. I had only one conversation with him that entire month in which he was mostly sober.
One night he stopped me on my way to my room. I was working day maintenance shift but was transitioning to night's and had been at the lodge's bar trying to stay up late so I could sleep the following day. My line was drawn at drinking, and at that I was a relative slacker. I was done for the night but he insisted I do a shot with him.
He pulls out the mythic handle of Canadian whiskey, eyeballs the last two inches of fluid and queries me about the next payday. After labored consideration he decides he can risk running out before tommorow mornings booze run into town. He proceeds to poor me a scotch glass to the rim as if it were a shot glass.
He was a genuinely nice guy, genuinely liked by all (and not just saying that to speak well of the dead). People talk about a person giving you the shirt off their back but how many can say they've seen an alcoholic risk sobering up to share a shot? He probably didn't think anyone would miss him. But he knew that if he stopped he could die and if he didn't he would. He was surrounded by enablers who made it easy to just keep carrying on. Slowly killing himself.
I have often wondered if that drink we shared was an interview (he refused to take any of it back, I poured out the last two shots worth when he wasn't looking).
Later, He cleaned the shit out of the bathroom he, I and another guy shared. He rearranged everything in his room. When I teased him about cleaning the bathroom he gave me a shit eating grin. I was new and didn't know him well enough to suspect something was up. I was a maintenance guy with keys and a radio. He knew I'd likely be the one to open his door.
No one had seen him in 24hrs when I went into his room to check on him. I feared having to do CPR. The nearest first responders were 45min away. that's a long time to do chest compressions. The front desk guy who was supposed to make this less awkward than it would have been for me to go in alone had already taken off to wake up a manager. My happy ass was going in alone.
After crossing the room, I shook his arm hoping to get punched in the face for waking him up. The third option hadn't crossed my mind but hit me like a ton of bricks when I realized the arm I had grabbed had no life in it. It was cold and stiff.
It was a dark moment alone in that room with him. I could have wallowed in it but there was shit to do. It was early. No one on property was up yet. I had a radio and a set of keys. Some one would want a statement. After playing my role in the circus I was free till my night shift. I was put up in a guest accommodation to try and get some sleep before work, while dude man's room got dealt with.
The worst part was seeing what it did to everyone else. He didn't think he meant much. but because he took the easy out. Because he couldnt swallow his pride and get some help, I got to watch 100 people loose thier shit. I was fine untill everyone started asking me if I was ok. Not because I was messed up but because they obviously were and I couldn't stand to watch that shit. I was getting kinda mad at the guy for doing this to everyone. I got cheated out of getting to know him. These people had lost someone they were close to.
The general manager brought dude's family to the property. I can handle a dead body. The dead body of an aquaintance. The dead body of someone I liked. I CANNOT handle a crying mom. There was a diner, I dodged that shit. There was a local chaplain who spent a few hours in the staff cafeteria. Office manager forced me to have a sit down, but I dodged that by bullshitting with the guy about how I wound up working there for 10 minutes then ran off to work.
Oh but the mom. An all hands meeting. she wanted to meet everyone. After a brief talk, thanking us for being good to her boy she basically adopted us, put her number and address up on the wall told us we were all welcome in her home. Bullshit. We werent good to him. We enabled and we helped finish him off. One at a time she walked up to an employee, asked how they knew her son and hugged them.
Good God was I fucked. All I could come up with in my head was 'im the one who found him.'. The worst possible answer and that shit was stuck in my head. I was last in the line of 40, this was the second and last showing. She was holding up too damn well. She was going to make it all the way to me and I was gonna scratch the record. She had grit, I'll give her that, but luckily for me she started to fade 4 people short of my turn. Worst hug ever, but at least I didn't have to say anything to her.
Man was I pissed off at that asshole. Fucking prick couldn't handle rehab, so now I have deal with this crying mom problem. Asshole!!
Suicide was never discussed. It was handled like a mysterious death while asleep, or at worst an accident. I kept my mouth shut. These people would have to handle it their own way. The front of house manager had come looking for him the morning before when he no showed for breakfast service. He heard crying through door. Decided to leave the guy alone for a minute and come back later. He got busy. That ended up being last sign of life. 24hrs later my dumbass tried to wake up a dead guy.
Don't fall for the trap. You may need help from someone and not want to ask, but for the love of God don't let that hold you back. And believe me, people get upset when assholes kick the bucket so don't try that bullshit excuse. I know this because when I was out processing that job and leaving the property a year later, everyone was off at the property drug dealer's funeral (wrecked his car while fukt up). He was kind of a prick. But hey a pillar of the community is a pillar of the community.
During the three days she was on property I managed to avoid any verbal contact with 'the mom'. Pretty sure she knew though. Moms are weird like that. They creep me out, especially when they cry.
Don't be that guy. He was a fucking prick for offing himself. Oh yeah and that crying mom thing. There is always a crying mom. Even if it isn't their kid. Argh fuk that shit!!!